EEL News Service 2006/5, 27 November 2006 (

Upcoming event
Tackling Climate Change – An Appraisal of the Kyoto Protocol and options for the future
Date: 30 and 31 March 2006
Location: T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague, The Netherlands
For more detailed information:,

Added to Legislation
·      Parliament adopts Services Directive

On 15 November 2006 the European Parliament has approved, at second reading, the much debated Services Directive. The Council’s common position was accepted without any major amendments. Environmentalists feared that the Services Directive would lead to a ‘race to the bottom’, with firms relocating to countries with the lowest level of environmental protection and, moreover, with firms applying lower norms when operating in other EU-countries in accordance with the ‘country of origin principle’. This principle was removed from the draft Directive in February of this year. Member States can continue to impose their own environmental standards on foreign companies operating in their territory.
Added to Case law, ECJ/CFI:

·      Case C-216/05: Commission v. Ireland
ECJ 06-08-2005, nyr
The ECJ has ruled against the Commission in a case against Ireland. Ireland had imposed a fee of €20 for commenting on planning applications and objecting to those. According to the Court the Commission’s objections to such a fee are without foundation, as the issue is one of national law and therefore for the Irish judges to rule upon. The Court thereby endorsed Advocate-General Stix-Hackl’s Advisory Opinion that was issued in June of this year. Since the ECJ did not further rule on the merits, the question that was raised regarding the polluter pays principle remained unanswered.

·      Case C-209/04: Commission v. Austria
ECJ 23-03-2006, nyr
The Court ruled that Austria is guilty of breaching the Wild Birds Directive 79/409/EEC, because it had not designated the areas of Soren en Gleggen-Köblern as Special Protected Areas. Austria was not condemned for breaching the Habitats Directive of 1992 by allowing for the construction of a highway near the sites. The ECJ reasoned, like in previous EIA-cases, that the fact that the plans for the highway already existed before Austria’s accession to the EU in 1995, precluded the directive from being applicable in this case.
Added to Case Law, WTO:
·      WTO’s final report in biotech disputes, DS 291, 292 and 293
Measures affecting the approval and marketing of biotech products
In May 2003, the US, Canada and Argentina had 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. The WTO-Panel examining these complaints issued its final report on 29 September 2006, stating that the EU’s four-year moratorium on licensing genetically modified crops breaches global trade rules. The report rejected most of the other claims.

Added to Policy Areas, General
·      Energy: Communication from the Commission COM(2006)545 – Action Plan for Energy Efficiency: Realising the Potential
On 18 October 2006 the Commission proposed an Action Plan that should reduce the European energy consumption with 20% by 2020. This percentage is nowadays lost merely because of inefficiency.  Reaching the goals set out in the Action Plan, could save €100bn and reduce carbon dioxide emission by double the EU’s obligation under the Kyoto protocol.

Added to Policy Areas, Climate Change

·      Climate Deal at Nairobi Summit
The most important result of the UN Climate Summit held from 6 until 17 November 2006 in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, consists in the adoption of the ‘Nairobi Work programme on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation’ accompanied by a fund. The programme aims at helping developing countries to deal with the effects of global warming. Progress on the main issue on the agenda, the revision of the Kyoto Protocol regime after 2012, remained limited to the agreement on a timetable, which sets the date of continuing the discussions on a review in 2008.
·      Commission sets agenda for Emission Trading Scheme, COM(2006)676
On 13 November 2006, the European Commission set out a detailed agenda for the revision of Europe’s greenhouse-gases emission trading scheme (ETS). The ETS is considered the cornerstone of climate change policy in Europe and it is the first international trading system for CO2 emissions. According to article 30 of Directive 2003/87/EC, the Commission is required to evaluate the implementation of the ETS in the first phase and to investigate a possible revision of the directive. The agenda should strengthen and improve the trading as of 2013 by making the scheme simpler and more predictable. Until now emission trading has been a success, but the problem of over-allocation to certain Member States has made prices to be rather instable.

Added to Policy Areas, Air

·      Political agreement on the draft Directive on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe

On 24 October 2006, the Council of Environmental Ministers reached an agreement on the revision of the EU policy on clean air standards. The new air quality directive should improve existing legislation and introduce new controls on ultra-fine particles under 2.5 microns (PM2.5) in the framework the Cafe air quality strategy from 2005. Oddly enough the Parliament proposed less robust legislation. According to environmental groups the new standards are still too low. Recent research has found that the fine particles are ‘the worst emergency’ for many of the major European cities.
·      EU agrees on cutting consumption of ozone-depleting pesticide
At the 18th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP-18) the EU has agreed to cut its consumption of methyl bromide to a maximum 690 tonnes in 2007. The largest user is the USA, whose 2007 consumption cap was agreed last year at 6,749 tonnes.

Added to Policy Areas, Water:

·      Proposal for the framework directive on the marine environment
On 24 October 2006 the Commission launched its EU Marine Environment Strategy, which was immediately written off by environmentalists as falling short and being inadequate, whilst failing to impose legally binding objectives. The proposal was discussed by the European Parliament on 15 November 2006. The MEPs voted to substantially strengthen the proposals that had been made. Most important is their desire that all the European seas should be of a good environmental status by 2017 instead of the Commission’s 2021. The EP also gave a definition of what is a ‘good environmental status’.

Added to Dossiers/Links, Council Conclusions:
·      Environmental Council Conclusions – October 2006
The Environmental Council that met on 23 October 2006 in Luxemburg reached political agreement on a draft directive on ambient air quality (see above) and cleaner air for Europe. It also adopted Council conclusions on climate policy and sustainable use of natural resources.

Added to National Pages:
·      National Page Germany updated

The national page of Germany has recently been updated, inter alia recent legislation and policy have been added.

National page Germany
·      Dutch Legislation: Introduction of the Environment License
One license for housing, building, monuments, living, spacial planning, nature and environment: the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spacial Planning and the Environment (VROM) seeks to combine as many as possible of the existing licenses in these fields through a new act in Dutch called the WABO: The General Provisions for the Environment Act. As of 1 January 2008 municipalities in the Netherlands will start issuing this new umbrella permit, called ‘omgevingsvergunning’. The goal is to force back the administrative burden for both citizens and enterprises, and to integrate further the factors that need to be taken into account.

National Page The Netherlands
Added to Job Postings:

·      Full time position at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) as Director of its EU Policy Unit. She/he is primarily responsible for leading the EU Policy Unit, which currently comprises the Director, four Policy Officers and one Campaigns Coordinator. Deadline: 29 November 2006
More information:

·      EEB: EU Eco-label Coordinator. The co-ordinator will represent simultaneously EEB and BEUC as stakeholders in the EU Ecolabel Scheme, and oversee the participation of representing experts in product group development. Deadline: 6 December 2006
More information:
·      United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): Editor (P3), Documentation Unit, Conference Affairs, Bonn. Deadline: 4 December 2006-11-21
More information:

Added to Events:

·      Tackling Climate Change – An Appraisal of the Kyoto Protocol and options for the future
Date: 30 and 31 March 2006
Location: T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague, The Netherlands
See for more detailed information:

·      Fifth Iberian Congress on Water Management
Shared River Basins: Basis for Sustainable Management of Water and Land
Date:     4-8 December 2006
Location:    Faro, Portugal

·      9th CEI Summit Economic Forum (SEF)
Fostering Reforms and Innovation for Sustainable Growth
Date:       22-23 November 2006
Location:    Tirana International Hotel, Tirana, Albania

·      Workshop of Senior Experts on the Implementation of the CBD
Organized by: Ecologic – Institute for International and European Environmental Policy
Date:      13 – 15 December 2006
Location:    Postdam, Germany

·      ManagEnergy Annual Conference and EU Sustainable Energy
Part of EUSEW: The First EU Sustainable Energy Week – entitled “Take a week to change tomorrow!”
Date:      29 January to 4 February 2007
Location:    Brussels, Belgium

Wybe Th. Douma (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Jens Hamer (Academy of European Law, Trier)

Leonardo Massai (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Ruben Vermeeren (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)

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