EEL News Service 2006/4, 10 April 2006 (

Upcoming Event:
* 18-19 May 2006, Recent Development in European Environmental Law, Trier, Germany
The seminar will deal with recent developments in European environmental law, primarily by analysing the European Court of Justice’s recent case law and the activities of the other EU institutions in the field of environmental law. Both specific individual measures and the European Commission’s environmental policy as a whole will be discussed. Registration before 19 April 2006 brings a special 10% discount. Click here for more information.


Added to Case law, ECJ/CFI:

* C-209/04, Commission v. Austria
ECJ 23-03-2006, nyr
The European Court of Justice has found Austria guilty of breaching the EC Wild Birds Directive 79/409/EEC by failing to include to the Natura 2000 network at the Lauteracher Ried national nature reserve the Soren and Gleggen-Köblern sites which, according to scientific criteria, are among the most suitable territories in number and size for the purposes of Article 4(1) and (2) of Directive 79/409/EEC, the Court said. In the same ruling the Court rejected European Commission claims that Austria had also breached the 1992 Habitats Directive by failing to compensate for the effects of a new road near the site. Plans for the road were drawn up before Austria joined the EU in 1995, the Court acknowledged.

* C-332/04, Commission v. Spain
ECJ 16-03-2006, nyr, not yet available in English
Spain has been condemned by the ECJ on a failure to respect EC Environment law. The Court found Spain guilty of five breaches of the 1985 and 1997 Environmental Impact Assessment Directives 85/337/EEC and 97/11/EC in connection with a leisure complex in Paterna, near Valencia.

* C-518/04, Commission v. Greece
ECJ 16-03-2006, nyr, not yet available in English
The ECJ found Greece guilty in failing to protect a species of snake, Vipera schweizeri, on the island of Milos, thus breaching the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC.

Added to Case Law, WTO:
* EC – Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products, Disputes DS 291, 292 and 293
The US, Canada and Argentina challenged the European moratorium on approvals of biotech products, various product-specific EC measures related to the approval of biotech products and various safeguard measures from EC Member States related to the import and/or marketing of biotech products in May 2003. On 7 February 2006, the Panel in these cases presented its interim report. Such interim reports, under WTO law, are presented only to the parties in the dispute, but an environmental NGO (Friends of the Earth) put a leaked copy on its website. The Panel found the moratorium in violation of WTO rules, notably of the SPS Agreement in which it is laid down that procedures to check and ensure the fullfilment of sanitary and phytosanitary measures are undertaken and completed without undue delay (Article 8 and Annex C of the SPS Agreement). A violation of procedural rules, in other words. The national safeguard measures were found to be violating Article 5.1 SPS Agreement, which demands that measures are based on a risk assessment. Further info: Friends of the Earth, Preliminary analysis of the WTO report; Centre for International Environmental Law In-depth analysis of the WTO report.

Added to Case Law, National, and National pages, Netherlands:

* Nos. 200505040/1 and 200506050/1, Vogelbescherming Nederland a.o. v. Minister van Landbouw, Natuur en Voedselkwaliteit,
Dutch Council of State, Administrative Jurisdiction Division,  22-03-2006, nyr
The Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature Management and Food Quality should not have issued a licence to companies that wanted to introduce Irish mussels and oysters in the Oosterschelde, a protected nature area. It was not demonstrated by the Mnistry that the introduction would not have significant effects on the protected nature area. The Minister should have made the plans/projects subject to an appropriate assessment of the implications for Oosterschelde in view of the site’s conservation objectives and in line with the explanations given to the Habitats Directive in ECJ Case C-127/02.

Added to Policy Areas, General:

* Communication from the Commission Implementing The Partnership For Growth And Jobs: Making Europe a Pole Of Excellence On Corporate Social Responsibility
Alliance for corporate social responsibility (CSR) launched by the European Commission will help reconcile Europe’s economic and environmental ambitions. In the Communication, the Commission called on EU businesses to “move up a gear” and go beyond minimum legal obligations in order to make Europe a “pole of excellence” in CSR. The CSR alliance will promote a series of actions including awareness raising campaigns and best practice exchange, education and the integration of CSR into EU policies.

* Transport and environment: facing a dilemma (EEA Report No 3/2006)
This report represents a summary of 10 selected issues from the EEA’s TERM (transport and environment reporting mechanism) set of transport and environment integration indicators. The objective is to indicate some of the main challenges to reducing the environmental impacts of transport, and to make suggestions for improving the environmental performance of the transport system as a whole. The report examines 10 key issues which need to be addressed in the coming years. These issues are derived from seven policy questions that form the backbone of TERM. As with previous TERM reports, this report evaluates the indicator trends in terms of progress towards existing objectives and targets. This is carried out using EU policy documents and various transport and environmental directives.

Added to Policy Areas, Nature, Agriculture:

* Assessing environmental integration in EU agriculture (EEA Briefing No 1/2006)
Farming has a strong impact on the environment in the European Union (EU), both in a negative and a positive sense. The common agricultural policy (CAP) is a major driver of the agricultural sector, and can therefore positively influence environmental management by farmers.

* Integration of environment into EU agriculture policy (EEA Report No 2/2006)
This report aims to provide a fair reflection of the progress, the achievements and obstacles in the integration of environmental concerns into EU agriculture policy, based on indicators developed in the IRENA operation (see the Report). It also tackles limitations to successful policy implementation at Member State level, and challenges ahead.Policy examples from some Member States aim to show good practice in agri-environmental policy implementation or design. Due to the scope of the IRENA operation the analysis focuses on the 15 Member States.

Added to Policy Areas, Air:

* Air pollution at street level in European cities (EEA Technical report No 1/2006)
Traffic-related air pollution is still one of the most pressing problems in urban areas. Evidence of the adverse health effects of fine particulate matter is continuously emerging and it is alarming that most of the traffic-related emissions are in the fine particulates range (< PM2.5). Human exposure to increased pollutant concentrations in densely populated urban areas is high. The improvement of air quality is therefore imperative. Air quality limit values, which are aimed at protecting public health, are frequently exceeded especially in streets and other urban hotspots.

Added to Policy Areas, Water:
* Priority issues in the Mediterranean environment (EEA Report No 4/2006)
The environment around the Mediterranean Sea region will not improve until there is the political will to enforce current and future environment legislation, says a new report, launched today. ‘Priority issues in the Mediterranean Environment’, a joint report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), was launched at a meeting of the Contracting Parties of the Barcelona Convention, taking place in Portoroz, Slovenia. The report, which scans existing and emerging pollution issues, draws a picture at the regional level but also provides an environmental profile for each of the Mediterranean countries.

Added to Dossiers/Links, Council Conclusions:
* 2721st Council Meeting – Transport, Telecommunications and Energy – Brussels, 27 March 2006
The Council adopted a Decision authorising the Commission to start negotiations with the Russian Federation in order to solve the issue of the Siberian over flight payments. It also adopted conclusions on the same issue. The Council reached a political agreement on driving licences Directive and adopted a Directive on the charging of heavy good vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (Eurovignette). In addition, the Council agreed on a general approach towards a proposal for a regulation on common rules in the field of aviation security, depending the European Parliament’s opinion in the first reading.

Added to Job Postings:

* Internship at the EEB on industrial emission control in Europe (announced 8th of March 2006)
The EEB in Brussels is a federation of more than 140 environmental citizens’ organizations located in all EU Member States and most Accession Countries, as well as in a few neighbouring countries. The EEB is currently looking for a volunteer wanting to do a internship related to the integrated pollution prevention control (IPPC directive).
For more info see:

Added to Events:
* 27 April 2006, Current Trends In The Judicial Review Of EC Regulatory Acts, Brussels, Belgium
This seminar will examine current trends in the case-law of the Community courts on selected issues of the review of Community regulatory action and will assess the implications of recent developments for the EU institutions and for legal practitioners and their clients. Click here for more information.
* 10 – 12 May 2006, Carbon Expo, Cologne, Germany
Carbon Expo, the global carbon market trade fair and conference, is a one stop shop for all stakeholders in the carbon market. Meet global supply and demand as well as technology and service providers.

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)