EEL News Service 2005/08, 21 April 2005

Added to Events page:

The Siena Summer School on International and European environmental law, announced previously in the EEL News Service, has 16 full scholarships available. Each scholarship cove rs the full cost of the course fees and accommodations with holders expected to pay for their own travel costs. Scholarships will be awarded in May by the Academic Committee of the course (composed by representatives of the University of Siena and of University College London) based on merit and need. Applicants who wish to be considered for a scholarship should write to and send a c.v. and a brief statement of why they are seeking the scholarship, why they wish to attend the course, and how it will assist their career development (max 500 words). Please check the web site for further details. Applications deadline is 30th April 2005!!!

* 10 May 2005, International Conference on the Integration of Wind Energy into the German Electricity Supply System, Berlin, Germany
The first coordinated strategy for the integration of wind energy into Germany’s electricity supply system is presented. Results will be discussed in detail with experts and stakeholders. Conference languages: German and English. More information on

* 15-17 June 2005, 7th Nordic Conference on Environmental Social Sciences (NESS): A New Generation and a New Climate for the Environment, Göteborg, Sweden
This event is hosted by by the Faculty of Social Sciences, the School of Economics and Commercial Law, and the Centre for Environment and Sustainability at Göteborg University. More information on

* 16 – 17 June 2005, Emerging Carbon Markets: Can they deliver? London, UK
Examine the role of EU Emissions Trading Scheme in domestic, EU and international climate policies to reduce emissions! Attend to assess the carbon market, tackle the business practicalities and investment opportunities plus address concerns about EU ETS and its impact. More info at

* 26-30 September 2005, International Experience and Perspectives on Strategic Environmental Assessment, Prague, Czech Republic
The event is organized by the International Association for Impact Assessment and hosted by the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe & Czech University of Agriculture. The session of notable importance for the NIS region is: Legal and policy frameworks for SEA in Newly Independent States. The preliminary programme and registration materials for IAIA’s global conference on Strategic Environmental Assessment is now on the IAIA web site, For more information on the respective session contact Aleg Cherp, Central European University, Budapest ( or Henrieta Martonakova, UNDP Regional Center for Europe and CIS (

Added to Case law page:

* C-61/03 Commission v United Kingdom
ECJ 12-04-05, nyr
The ECJ ruled that military installations fall outside the scope of the EU Euratom Treaty on nuclear matters. The judgement opens up a gap in EU safeguards on how member states manage radioactive waste and marks a rare legal defeat for the European Commission, which complained that the UK government had failed to inform it of plans to decommission a military nuclear reactor in London. Article 37 of Euratom Treaty requires member states to provide information on “any plan for the disposal of radioactive waste” to enable the EU executive to assess whether neighbouring countries could suffer radioactive contamination. The Court notes that the treaty’s preamble makes it clear that it aims to promote the use of nuclear energy “for peaceful purposes”. Given also the absence of any derogation laying down detailed rules to protect member states’ “essential interests”, “activities falling within the military sphere are outside the scope” of Euratom.

* C-135/04 Commission v Spain
Opinion AG 7-04-05, nyr, not yet available in English
Advocate-General Leendert Geelhoed has recommended that the Spanish government be condemned under the EU Directive 79/409/EEC (´Wild birds Directive´) as Spanish rules on hunting wood pigeons contravene the rules of this directive.

* C-163/03 Commission v Greece
ECJ 14-04-2005, nyr, not yet available in English
Greece has been condemned by the ECJ for slipshod implementation of EU laws on protecting groundwaters from pollution and on hazardous waste management, as a result of a complaint made to the European Commission 13 years ago. Greece was charged for failing in practice to exclude all pollution of groundwater by high priority pollutants in list I of directive 80/68 and to limit pollution by lower priority list II pollutants. The Court also backed two Commission complaints about Greek implementation of directive 91/689 on waste management.

* C-146/04 Commission v Netherlands
ECJ 14-04-2005, nyr, not yet available in English

* C-171/04 Commission v Netherlands
ECJ 14-04-2005, nyr, not yet available in English
The Netherlands has been condemned by the Court for failing to transpose on time three European environmental laws: the 2001 national emission ceilings directive, the 2001 large combustion plants directive and a 2000 directive limiting benzene and carbon monoxide pollution. The Netherlands admitted the delays but stressed that it was working towards transposition.

* C-6/03 Deponiezweckverband Eiterköpfe
ECJ 14-04-2005, nyr
Germany’s environment Ministry strongly welcomed a ruling by the ECJ rejecting complaints against Germany’s waste dumping law. The judgement confirms that member states can impose curbs stricter than those in EC Landfill directive 1999/31. The ruling responds to questions posed by a German court following a legal challenge by landfill operator (Deponiezweckverband Eiterköpfe). German law makes it illegal from 1 July 2005 to landfill wastes that have not undergone incineration or mechanical-biological treatment. The company complained that this exceeds measures specified in the EU directive and imposes a disproportionate burden on operators. In line with the legal opinion of AG Colomer (also available in the EEL case law database), the ECJ has rejected these complaints. German law imposes stricter and earlier limits on biodegradable content of more wastes going to landfill than the EC directive, but under Article 176 of the EC Treaty this is permissible. The EU legal principle of proportionality is not applicable in this case, it adds.

*C-441/03 Commission v Netherlands
ECJ 14-04-2005, nyr
AG Kokott advised the ECJ in this matter on 3 February 2005. Less than three months later, the ECJ followed her opinion and condemned the Netherlands for breaching EC nature conservation rules. It backed the European Commission on most of a series of complaints it brought alleging failure to transpose properly various articles of the 1979 wild birds directive 79/409/EEC and the 1992 habitats directive 92/43/EEC. The ECJ dismissed one aspect of the Commission’s complaint, as AG Kokott had also advised. Having regard to the particular characteristics of each of the stages referred to in Article 6 of Directive 92/43, the Court held that the various requirements set out in Article 6(4) cannot constitute elements that the competent national authorities are obliged to take account of where they carry out an appropriate assessment provided for in Article 6(3).

* C-270/03 Commission v Italy
ECJ Opinion 14-04-2005, nyr, not yet available in English
Advocate General Stix-Hackl recommended that Italy be condemned for breaching the Waste framework directive 75/442/EEC by allowing companies transporting their own or others’ waste to escape being registered as official waste carriers, thus subject to stricter regulation.

Added to Reviews  page:

* Protecting birds from powerlines (Nature and environment No.140)
D Haas, M Nipkow, G Fiedler, R Schneider, W Haas, B Schürenberg, Council of Europe Publishing 2005, ISBN 92-871-5630-1, Price: 10 Euro

Collision of birds with the cables of powerlines and electrocution of birds sitting on power poles are important factors increasing mortality of some threatened species. The present report analyses the phenomenon and makes technical proposals to protect birds from electrocution.

* Environmental protection and the European Convention on Human Rights (Human Rights File No. 21)
Daniel García San José, Council of Europe Publishing 2005, ISBN 92-871-5698-0, Price: 10 €/ 15 $

Nowhere in the European Convention on Human Rights does the word environment appear. In any event, its drafters would have had a different view of the term from ours, over half a century later. Recent years have seen a growing awareness of the environment as something to be protected, rather than taken for granted. Nevertheless, as the European Court has said on more than one occasion, the Convention is a “living instrument”, which has shown itself capable of adapting with the times; and today some analysts see in the Court’s case-law a tendency to interpret certain provisions of the Convention as affording at least a degree of environmental protection, thus recognising a “human right to the environment”. In this study, Daniel García San José examines the material in detail to confront the question “Does the European Convention on Human Rights provide the right to the environment?” 

Added to Job postings page:

* Three vacancies for junior researchers

METRO, the Institute for Transnational Legal Research of the Law Faculty of Maastricht University, has three vacancies for junior researchers in the field of international, European and comparative environmental law and in the area of law and economics of financial compensation for victims of catastrophes.
Wybe Th. Douma (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Jens Hamer (Academy of European Law, Trier)

Daria Ratsiborinskaya (Institute of European law, MGIMO-University, Moscow)

Technical realisation:
Marco van der Harst, Julien J.M. Simon
(T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)