EEL News Service 2009/12, 23 July 2009

Added to Case Law, ECJ


C-226/08, Stadt Papenburg v. Bundesrepublic Deutschland

AG 09-07-2009

Advocate General Sharpston presented her opinion in a reference for a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of the Habitats Directive. The case concerns the inclusion of parts of the river Ems in the draft list of sites of Community importance (SCIs) in the Atlantic region for which the Commission has requested the agreement of the Federal Government of Germany. Before the referring court, the municipality of Papenburg argued that its right to self-government, which is protected under Article 28(2) GG (German Basic Law), would be infringed by Germany agreeing, pursuant to the first subparagraph of Article 4(2) of the Habitats Directive, to the draft list of SCIs in the Atlantic region drawn up by the Commission. Advocate General advised the Court to interpret Article 4(2) of the Habitats Directive in a way that its scope does not allow a Member State to refuse to agree to the Commission’s draft list of sites of Community importance on grounds other than nature conservation.

Sector: Nature and Agriculture


C-557/08, Commission v. United Kingdom

ECJ 09-07-2009

The ECJ condemned the United Kingdom for its failure to adopt the necessary laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Directive 2005/35/EC on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties for infringements.

Sector: Water


C-254/08, Futura Immobiliare and others v. Comune di Casoria

ECJ 16-07-2009

The reference for a preliminary ruling relates to the interpretation of Article 15(a) of Directive 2006/12/EC on waste and, in particular, to the ‘polluter pays’ principle. The ECJ concluded that Article 15(a) of the Waste Directive must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation which, for the purposes of financing an urban waste management and disposal service, provides for a tax or charge calculated on the basis of an estimate of the volume of waste generated by users of that service and not on the basis of the quantity of waste which they have actually produced and presented for collection. It is, however, incumbent upon the national court to review, on the basis of the matters of fact and law placed before it, whether the tax for the disposal of private solid urban waste at issue in the main proceedings results in the allocation to certain ‘holders’, in the case in point hotel establishments, of costs which are manifestly disproportionate to the volumes or nature of the waste that they are liable to produce.

Sector: Waste


C-344/08, Rubach

ECJ 16-07-2009

This ruling concerns a preliminary reference from Sad Rejonowy w Koscianie (Poland), about Council Regulation No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein. The referring court sought to ascertain, first, what evidence is admissible, in the light of Article 8(5) of Regulation No 338/97, in criminal proceedings concerning activities relating to specimens of animal species, which are listed in Annex B to that regulation, and, second, what is a fair apportionment of the burden of proof with regard to establishing whether those specimens were acquired lawfully. The ECJ ruled that Article 8(5) of the Regulation must be interpreted as meaning that, in the context of criminal proceedings brought against a person accused of having infringed that provision, any type of evidence accepted under the procedural law of the Member State concerned in similar proceedings is in principle admissible for the purpose of establishing whether specimens of animal species listed in Annex B to that regulation were lawfully acquired. In the light also of the principle of the presumption of innocence, such a person may adduce any such evidence to prove that those specimens came lawfully into his possession in accordance with the conditions laid down in that provision.

Sector: Nature and Agriculture


C-165/08, Commission v. Poland

ECJ 16-07-2009

The ECJ declared that by prohibiting the free circulation of genetically modified seed varieties and the inclusion of genetically modified varieties in the national catalogue of varieties, Poland has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 22 and 23 of Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms.

Sector: Nature and Agriculture


C-427/07, Commission v. Ireland

ECJ 16-07-2009

Ireland has been condemned for its failure to adopt, in conformity with Article 2(1) and Article 4(2) to (4) of Council Directive 85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, all measures to ensure that, before consent is given, projects likely to have significant effects on the environment in the road construction category, are made subject to a requirement for development consent and to an assessment with regard to their effects. In addition, the ECJ declared that Ireland has failed to fulfil its obligations under Directive 2003/35/EC providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment by failing to adopt the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Article 3(3) to (7) and Article 4(2) to (4).

Sector: General


C-428/07, Horvath v. Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

ECJ 16-07-2009

The reference for a preliminary ruling was made by the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, Queen’s Bench Division, regarding the legislation adopted in respect of the territory of England defining the minimum requirements for good agricultural and environmental condition referred to in Article 5 of and Annex IV to Regulation No 1782/2003 establishing common rules for direct support schemes under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers. The ECJ ruled that a Member State may include requirements relating to the maintenance of visible public rights of way in its standards for good agricultural and environmental condition under Article 5 of and Annex IV to Council Regulation No 1782/2003, inasmuch as those requirements contribute to the retention of those rights of way as landscape features or, as the case may be, to the avoidance of the deterioration of habitats.

Sector: Nature and Agriculture



Added to Case law, WTO



On 15 July 2009, the European Union and Canada have signed in Geneva a final settlement of the WTO dispute that Canada brought against the EU in May 2003 regarding the application of its legislation on biotech products. In 2003, Argentina, Canada and the United States separately challenged certain measures taken by the EC on the approval of biotech products which have restricted imports of agricultural and food products. In 2006, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body adopted three panel reports which found a violation of the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement. The settlement reached with Canada provides for the establishment of a regular dialogue on issues of mutual interest on agriculture biotechnology. This dialogue is aimed at an exchange of information that would contribute to avoiding unnecessary obstacles to trade. The EU is not expected to modify its current regulatory regime on biotech products, which was never subject to WTO challenge in itself. The EU and Canada will notify this settlement to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body as a mutually agreed solution.

Sector: Nature and Agriculture



Added to Sectors, Climate Change


*G8 leaders agreed on 2°C climate target

In their annual meeting held in L’Aquila, Italy from 8 to 10 July 2009, the Group of Eight industrialised nations recognized for the first time that global average temperatures must not rise more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels (a position adopted earlier on by the European Union). The G8 leaders consequently pledged to support a global target to cut emissions by 50% by 2050, but failed to convince countries such as China and India to sign up to the 2050 target. Despite recommendations from a UN panel, the G8 Group did not agree on mid-term reduction targets and how much money they should spend to finance climate mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the G8 agreement, but criticised the fact that no strong and ambitious mid-term target for emissions cuts by 2020 were agreed upon and stressed that the policies stated so far are not enough.



Added to Sectors, Energy


*EU Nuclear Safety Regulators’ first activity report

On 17 July 2009, the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group (ENSREG), presented to the Commission its first activity report. The report presents Group’s discussions and recommendations covering nuclear safety, waste management and transparency aspects. Among future actions, the ENSREG recommends making full use of the international peer review systems and of the results of the existing international safety conventions. It also emphasizes the importance of constantly supporting the exchange of operating experiences and the communication between the regulators.



Added to Sectors, Nature and Agriculture


*Commission published biodiversity report

On 13 July 2009, the European Commission published for the first time a comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of over 1150 species and 200 habitat types across 25 Member States. Under Article 17 of the Habitats Directive all Member States are requested to monitor habitat types and species considered to be of Community interest and submit information on implementation of the Directive to the Commission every six years. The results of the 2001-2006 Report show that less than a fifth of EU’s most vulnerable habitats and species have a good conservation status, over half have not achieved a favourable conservation status and some species are facing extinction. Grasslands, wetlands and coastal habitats face the greatest threats, mainly due to the decline of traditional patterns of agriculture, tourist development and climate change.



Added to Sectors, Waste


*Deadline for sub-standard landfills to comply with EU rules

From 16 July 2009, all EU Member States that have not been granted extensions must ensure that sub-standard landfills that existed before the introduction of the Landfill Directive now comply with its requirements. The Directive aims to prevent or reduce the adverse effects of the landfill of waste on the environment, in particular on surface water, groundwater, soil, air and human health, and sets strict guidelines for the management of sites. The Commission has written to all Member States to remind them of their obligation and to gather data on compliance. Those found to be in breach of the legislation may face legal action.


Added to Sectors, General


*Feasibility Study for The Hague Environmental Law Facility

In June 2009, the Institute for Environmental Security (IES) presented the findings of the research project The Hague Espace for Environmental Global Governance. The project was carried out by IES and the T.M.C. Asser Institute with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment and the City of The Hague. The main objective of the study was to investigate the usefulness and necessity of a facility in the field of environmental law in The Hague. The study resulted in a Report on The Hague Environmental Law Facility (HELF). HELF would have two main functions: 1) an advisory function with regards to facilitating access to justice aimed at directing parties with environmental problems or disputes to the appropriate (alternative) dispute resolution mechanism, which includes local and national procedures, and 2) an auxiliary training function aimed at improving the knowledge and skills of civil servants, diplomats and negotiators on issues of implementation, enforcement and compliance.



National Pages


The following national pages have been updated: Germany


Notably, the following information was introduced:


Added to National pages, Germany


*Germany adopts more stringent rules on nuclear waste

On 15 July 2009, Germany enacted new rules for the storage of nuclear waste, updating a law adopted in 1983. The new safety rules for the underground storage of nuclear waste include a requirement that high-level radioactive material be stored safely for a million years as well as regulations on how storage technology must be “continually optimized” during the construction of a repository.



Added to Book reviews


*Regulating pesticide risk reduction: the practice and dynamics of legal pluralism

Nicolien van der Grijp

Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 2008

304 pages

This doctoral thesis indentifies, analyses and assesses current regulatory approaches by state and non-state actors aimed at pesticide risk reduction. The study provides insights in the different manifestations of such approaches, their effectiveness in realising pesticide risk reduction, the level of involvement of the stakeholders concerned, the consequences for competition and trade, the interaction between the different approaches, and the resulting regulatory pattern. The geographical focus is mainly on the EU, but seen in the larger context of global developments and impacts.

Added to Upcoming Events


*The New Waste Framework Directive-Towards transposition

Directive 2008/98/EC on waste adopted in November 2008 foresees a new approach to waste management based on prevention, respect for human health and the environment, and limiting the production of waste, as well as encouraging the use of waste as a resource by recycling and recovery. The Directive must be implemented before 12 December 2010. The aim of the conference, organised by the Academy of European Law (ERA), is therefore to bring together stakeholders and practitioners in order to present the innovations of the directive and to organise a European platform for discussion on implementation strategies and a model for transposition in the Members States.

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Date: 1-2 October 2009


*Climate Change and Security at Copenhagen-II

The Copenhagen negotiations take place against the background of a complex and rapidly changing international situation. The role of the Atlantic powers will be essential. A new Administration is starting work in Washington, just as the European Union faces a year with a new European Parliament, a new European Commission, and possibly, a new Treaty. The conference will focus on “What can be done to ensure effective co-operation between Washington and Brussels in 2009?

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Date: 7-8 October 2009


*Environmental impact assessments and enforcement of Community Law

The Academy of European Law (ERA) is organizing a conference on the procedural aspects of environmental impact assessments: the definition of the projects concerned; the extent to which the environment should be protected; the judicial control of decisions taken by public authorities; and the judicial protection of rights. Compliance by the European Community and its member states with their obligations on access to justice under the Aarhus Convention will be a focus of the conference.

Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Date: 2-3 November 2009



Added to Vacancies


*International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), Policy Director – European Affairs

The Policy Director will be responsible for promoting international emissions trading, helping clarify and representing the interests of IETA members in Europe, gathering information about European developments relevant to emissions trading, advising IETA members about those developments, contributing European perspectives to the formulation of IETA policies and to other IETA activities including trade fairs and conferences.

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Deadline: 7 August 2009


*WWF International, Managers, Conservation Communications (two posts)

WWF, the global conservation organization, is looking for two Managers, Conservation Communications responsible for designing and implementing external communications strategies that catalyse change, strengthen the brand, offer compelling stories and provide opportunities for action.

Location: Gland, Switzerland

Deadline: 9 August 2009


*The Environmental Company (TEC), Natural Conservation Specialist

The position includes the following: review, update, and implement the Natural Resources, Cultural Resources and the Threatened and Endangered Species Management Plans; evaluate work orders and projects on environmental compliance and impacts on natural and cultural resources; identify and perform Geographical Information System (GIS) updates of the existing databases; support to conduct a threatened and endangered species study, among others.

Location: Chievres, Belgium

Deadline: open





Wybe Th. Douma (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)

Jens Hamer (Court of First Instance of the European Community, Luxemburg)*

* All views expressed are entirely personal and can in no way be attributed to the CFI or ECJ



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

Efstathia Koutsopoulou (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)


Technical realisation:

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