EEL News Service 2007/4, 22 February 2007 (

EEL News Service 2007/4, 22 February 2007 (

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
Click here for more detailed information

Added to Case law, ECJ

* Case C-252/05, The Queen on the application of Thames Water Utilities Limited
v. The South East London Division, Bromley Magistrates’ Court
Opinion of 2007-02-08, nyr
Is sewage which escapes from a sewerage network (collecting system) to be regarded as waste, particularly if waste-water law covers the issue sufficiently? The Advocate General advised the ECJ to rule that untreated waste water which escapes from a collecting system constitutes waste within the meaning of Article 1(1) of the Waste Framework Directive 75/442. Thus, if the ECJ were to follow the opinion of the Advocate General, once waste water is in surrounding land it falls under the Waste Directive.
Sector(s): Waste; Water

* Case C-405/05, Commission v. United Kingdom
ECJ 2007-01-25, nyr
The Court condemned the UK for not providing adequate sewage collection and treatment facilities in different regions of the country. Thereby the UK has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 4(1) and (3) of Directive 91/271/ concerning urban waste-water treatment, that set a deadline for 2000 to build the facilities.
Sector(s): Waste
* Case C-199/04, Commission v. United Kingdom (‘Castle Cement’)
ECJ 2007-02-01, nyr
The ECJ dismissed infraction proceedings brought by the Commission against the UK relating to the implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment and pollution controls. The reason was that the Commission’s case lacked coherence and precision.
Sector(s): EIA

Added to Policy Areas, Climate Change

* Council Environment backs the climate change commitments
EU Environment ministers meeting in the Council Environment of 20 February 2007 agreed on a 20 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels and even assured to go further if other industrialised countries make similar commitments (30% cut). It is expected that the new resolution will be endorsed at the EU heads of government summit meeting in March 2007. Furthermore, the Council decided almost unanimously to include aviation in the EU emissions trading system, as well as to support binding legislation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions for new cars and vans.

* Parliament agrees on strict climate change resolution
Following a Commission resolution on Climate Change, adopted on 10 January 2007, Parliament went one step further. The Commission proposed a 20 percent reduction of greenhouse gasses by 2020 compared to 1990, whilst Parliament wants a reduction of 30 percent by 2020. This and several other conclusions on the issue, where debated by Parliament on 31 January 2007, and voted for on 14 February 2007.

* Mandelson gives speech on climate change and energy security
On 9 February 2007, Peter Mandelson, the current British Commissioner for Trade, readdressed the issue of climate change and energy security. Especially significant is his call concerning climate change. He stresses the importance of a 0% tariff on green goods to facilitate international trade in green technologies and services, through a Doha round agreement. The Doha round is the WTO’s instrument working on the decrease of trade barriers around the World, supporting free trade between rich and poor countries. Mandelson argues that the creation of an open global market in environmental technologies and the investment in green industrial change will lead to the success of Kyoto.

* Slovakia first member state to go to court for NAP
The Commission’s hard line on second phase National Allocation Plans (NAPs) for the EU Emission Trading System is for the first time legally being challenged. Slovakia is one of the 11 countries that have recently seen their NAPs rejected by the Commission. In recent weeks the price of emission allowances has totally collapsed, which has made fears that too many allowances have been issued in the first phase come true and which makes it now cheaper for industry to emit more. The 25% cut requested by the Commission on Slovakia’s NAP will, as the country’s government claims, threaten economic growth. Moreover, Slovakia claims that the Commission is acting outside the scope of its competence. Also on 8 February 2007 German Environment Minister Gabriel announced that he will accept the proposed cuts by the Commission in his country’s NAP.

Added to Policy Areas, Energy

* Council Conclusions on Energy Policy for Europe
On 15 February 2007, the Council adopted conclusions that support the Commission’s proposal biofuels to constitute 10 per cent of all petrol and diesel consumption in every Member State by 2020. They also supported a 20 percent target on renewables in EU energy consumption. However, they could not yet reach an agreement on whether or not this target should be binding.
Added to Policy Areas, General

* Brussels lists offences to be considered criminal in EU
A new proposal is seeking to oblige member states to impose criminal sanctions for breaches of environmental law. More concrete, the Commissioners Dimas for Environment and Frattini for Justice propose to harmonise what constitutes an environmental crime and what the minimum level of penalty should be throughout the EU. The proposal lists nine sets of offences that Member States should regard as criminal.  EC involvement with national criminal law was made possible by a landmark ECJ-judgment, case C-176/03 in September 2005, but remains controversial.

Added to Policy Areas, Waste

* Parliament takes tough stance on waste policy
On 13 February 2007 the European Parliament adopted its first reading position concerning the proposed new waste framework Directive and the thematic strategy on waste. Parliament has adopted the principle of ‘hierarchy in the treatment of waste’, which should lead to the reduction of waste production, and stipulates preferences for waste handling. It is considered very important to reduce landfill and incineration of waste, because these two procedures both cause pollution. Therefore MEPs want to ban landfill of all recyclable waste by 2020, and almost all remaining waste by 2025. Overall the Parliament has toughened the Commission’s waste framework Directive proposal and communication on a thematic strategy on waste, and it is expected that it will be tricky to reach a deal with the Council.
Added to National Pages

* National Pages updates
Our editors from Italy, Germany, Spain and Israel have updated their national pages with recent national developments in environmental law.

Added to Job Postings
* Staff recruitment for European Chemicals Agency
The European Commission has announced vacancies for an executive director and an additional 200 temporary staff members. The available jobs range from scientific officers and information technology officers to financial accounting assistants and HR assistants.
Place: Helsinki, Finland
Deadline:  23 March 2007 (executive director) and 15 March 2007 (temporary staff)
Added to Events
* The Seabed Habitat Mapping Event
The Conference brings together all the main aspects of the Mapping European Seabed Habitats (MESH) project’s work over the past three years. It is especially important for those involved in mapping and environmental management of the seabed and intertidal zone.
Date: 14 & 15 March 2007
Location: Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland

* The Fifth IUCN Colloquium
At the colloquium concurrent panels will focus on a diverse array of topics, such as wildlife, marine & coastal environments, sustainable cities & ecological ethics. Participation to the colloquium is by invitation only.
Date: 31 May – 5 June 2007
Location: Rio de Janeiro & Parati, Brazil
* 4th International Conference on Children’s Health and the Environment
“Reducing environmental risks for our children”
This conference aims at bringing scientists, health professionals, educators and policy makers together to discuss links between children’s health and environmental factors, to identify opportunities to minimize childhood exposure to environmental hazards, to define future directions in research and to initiate policies in the field of children’s environmental health.
Date: 10 – 12 June 2007
Venue: Medical University of Vienna, Austria

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)
Sara Woods (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)

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