Added to Case Law, ECJ
C-362/06 P, Sahlstedt and others v. Commission
On 23 April 2009 the ECJ dismissed the appeal brought against an order of the CFI by a number of Finnish landowners. The CFI had dismissed the action for annulment of Commission Decision 2005/101/EC adopting, pursuant to Habitats Directive, the list of sites of Community importance for the Boreal biogeographical region. The CFI had found that the appellants were not directly concerned by the contested decision for the purposes of the fourth paragraph of Article 230 EC and, in consequence, dismissed their action. The ECJ confirmed the inadmissibility of the action by adding that natural or legal persons, who own land within the sites of Community interest, are not individually concerned by the contested decision, since the contested decision was adopted exclusively on the basis of objective biological criteria and not in the light of the specific situation of the landowners.
Sector: Nature and Agriculture
C-370/07, Commission v. Council
AG Opinion 23-04-2009
Advocate General Kokott delivered an opinion regarding the obligation to state the legal basis of a Council Decision establishing the position to be adopted on behalf of the European Community with regard to certain proposals submitted to the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The present case was initiated by the Commission which brought an action under Article 230 EC seeking the annulment of this Decision on the ground that no reference was made in it to any legal basis. The parties disagreed as to whether the contested measure is a decision sui generis or one within the meaning of Article 249 EC, which is subject to the obligation to state reasons under Article 253 EC. According to the AG the justification of the obligation to state reasons as enabling the fullest possible judicial review applies, not only to decisions within the meaning of Article 249 EC, but also to a measure such as the contested measure which produces binding legal effects, since it instructs the Member States as to the positions they are to represent at the 14th meeting of the conference of the parties to CITES. For that reason, the AG advised the Court to annul the contested decision.
Sector: Nature and Agriculture
C-254/08, Futura Immobiliare and others
AG Opinion 23-04-2009
The case was referred to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling by the Regional Administrative Court of Campania, Italy. In particular the national Court asked the ECJ whether national provisions ensuring the continuation of a system, fiscal in nature, designed to cover the costs of the waste disposal service and postponing the introduction of a tariff regime in which the cost of the service is borne by the persons producing and delivering the waste, are compatible with Article 15 of Directive 2006/12/EC on waste and the principle of ‘the polluter pays’ referred to. Advocate General Kokott advised the Court to interpret the ‘polluter pays principle’ laid down in Article 15 of the respective Directive, in a way which precludes national rules to impose disproportionate costs to individuals for the disposal of waste when they do not demonstrate reasonable connection to the production of waste.
Added to Sectors, General
*EU judges welcome EU Directive on access to justice in environmental matters
In a conference organized by the Czech EU Presidency in Brno, EU member state judges have discussed the adoption of a new European directive intended to implement the third pillar on access to justice in environmental matters of the 1998 Aarhus Convention. The Aarhus Convention s the public rights regarding access to information and public participation and access to justice in environmental matters. So far the EC has adopted two Directives implementing the first and second pillar of the Aarhus Convention and a Regulation which allows the application of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention to EU institutions and bodies. The 2003 European Commission proposal for an access to justice directive remains stalled in the Council of the EU since 2004 because of considerable opposition from Member States. The Czech EU Presidency will present the views of the EU judges to environment ministers meeting in June in Luxembourg.
Added to Sectors, Energy
*Commission publishes its 2009 progress report on renewable energy
On 24 April 2009, the Commission adopted its latest report assessing the state of development of renewable energy in the EU, in accordance with Article 3 of Directive 2001/77/EC on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market. This progress report covers both the electricity and the transport sectors. The report contains a summary table of recent progress and the progress made towards the 2010 targets in each Member State, which highlights the uneven progress of the last two years, with some Member States already reaching their targets, and others being far behind. The report confirms earlier analysis that EU is unlikely to reach the 2010 targets in either sector: the EU could reach a 19% share in electricity, rather than 21% and 4% instead of 5.75% in the transport sector.
*MPEs adopt legislative report on the Eco-design requirements for energy related products
On 24 April 2009 the European Parliament approved a Commission proposal to widen the scope of the Ecodesign Directive (Directive 2005/32/EC) to include all energy-related products, which are products that do not consume energy during use but have an indirect impact on energy consumption. Examples include construction products such as windows, insulation materials and water-using products such as showerheads and taps. By October 2011 the Commission will have to publish an indicative list of priority product groups subject to new ecodesign requirements.
*MEPs agree on 2019 deadline for zero-energy buildings
In a vote to revise the 2002 energy performance of buildings directive (Directive 2002/91/EC), MEPs said that EU Member States must ensure that all newly-constructed buildings produce as much energy as they consume on-site – e.g. via solar panels or heat pumps. MEPs define zero-energy buildings as buildings “where, as a result of the very high level of energy efficiency of the building, the overall annual primary energy consumption is equal to or less than the energy production from renewable energy sources on site”. Parliament also wants Member States to intermediate national targets for existing buildings. The new rules are to be finalised by the end of 2009.
Added to Sectors, Nature and Agriculture
*G8 environment ministers adopt deal on biodiversity beyond 2010
The G8 environment ministers meeting, held in Syracuse on 22-24 April 2009, concluded with the adoption of the Syracuse charter to extend the deal on biodiversity loss for the period after 2010. The new declaration states the link between climate change and species extinction and emphasises the economic value of biodiversity, particularly in developing countries. The G8 meeting grouped for the first time nine developing economies, including Brazil, India and China.
Notably, the following information was introduced:
Added to National pages, Poland
*Commission ends proceedings in two important nature cases against Poland
The European Commission closed legal proceedings against Poland in two nature cases, pursuant to Article 226 EC. The first case is being withdrawn following a decision by the Polish government not to go ahead with the construction of a bypass through one of Europe’s most precious nature areas – the Rospuda river valley. The second case is being closed following the completion of Poland’s network of Special Protection Areas, under Directive 79/409/EEC on the protection of Wild Birds. The designation provides sufficient coverage for the habitats of protected bird species and therefore the Commission has decided to close the case.
Added to National pages, Italy
*Commission closes nature protection case in Venice lagoon
The European Commission is closing a case against Italy concerning the construction of moving dams in the Venice lagoon. The dams are intended to reduce the risk of flooding, and so protect the city, but at the same time they have an impact on the ecological values of the lagoon, which hosts areas of outstanding ecological importance at European level, designated as a Natura 2000 sites. The Commission sent written warnings to the Italian authorities in December 2005 and, subsequently, in July 2007 in accordance with Article 226 EC. As a result of measures now proposed by the Italian authorities to limit the extent of damage to the ecosystems and compensate for the impact, and in view of the objectives of the project, the Commission is now closing the case.
Added to National Pages, France
*Commission sued France over failure to implement EU’s 2000 end-of life vehicles Directive
The European Commission has brought an action against France before the ECJ (C-64/09) for failing to correctly transpose into national law seven provisions of Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of life vehicles. For example, the Commission claimed that the implementation out of time of Article 4 (2) (a) has resulted in vehicles, materials and components, containing certain hazardous materials such as mercury and cadmium, being present on the market for 18 months. The Commission also submitted that the procedure laid down in Article 5 (3) relating to the issue of a certificate of destruction of an end-of life vehicle has not been correctly reproduced in French law.
Added to Upcoming Events
*2nd Berlin Climate Law Conference
With its second annual installment, the Berlin Climate Law Conference 2009 will again bring together experts from the legal discipline and other stakeholders to engage in a discussion on the legal dimensions of climate change. This year the conference will focus on the future of the international climate regime, the Post-2012 Debate and the four pillars of the Bali Action Plan.
Location: Berlin, Germany
Date: 15 June 2009
*Conference on EU rules for classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals
On December 2008, the EU adopted the new Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP) which aligns existing EU legislation to the United Nations Globally Harmonised System (GHS). This conference, organized by the European Commission, aims to inform authorities, industry and other stakeholders about the new provisions for classification, labelling and packaging in the EU, placing them in the global context of GHS. It will explain the main features of the new legislation, focusing on practical aspects. It will provide up-to-date information on the CLP guidance documents and tools. The closing date for registration is 1 May 2009.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 17 June 2009
*Conference on renewable energy: opportunities and challenges for 2020
This conference, organized by the of Electricity Industry (EURELECTRIC), will discuss the role of various renewable electricity technologies and their ability to deliver by 2020 the 20% target, in the new Directive on renewable energy sources, agreed as part of the energy and climate package. The impact of renewable sources on European power grids is another key topic to be addressed, as new investments and grid management solutions will be required to accommodate new renewable energy.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Date: 7-8 May 2009
Added to Vacancies
*ECOS, Energy & Climate Officer
The European Environmental Citizens Organization for Standardisation works on behalf of the environmental NGO community to improve the integration of ecological aspects in technical standards and EU product policies. The Energy & Climate Officer will monitor and influence several EU and international processes related to climate change mitigation, energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 11 May 2009
*UNEP, Programme Officer, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, P-4
UNEP’s Division of Environmental Law and Conventions identifies synergies and promotes the substantive collaboration among Multilateral Environmental Agreements. Under the general guidance of the Division Director and the direct supervision of the Head, Interlinkages and Synergies Unit, the incumbent will undertake the following tasks: prepare briefing notes, speeches, policy notes, background papers and substantive s for senior management review and analyze policy papers, reports and other documents on Conference of the Parties and Meeting of the Parties provide support and advice on the communication between DELC and the UNEP administered conventions on substantive and administrative issues, among others.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Deadline: 19 June 2009
*UNFCCC, Associate Programme Officer, Clean Development Mechanism (CMD), P-2
Under the direct supervision of the Programme Officer, Afforestation and Reforestation and general supervision of the Manager, Methodology Unit, the incumbent will provide substantive, technical and procedural inputs on issues relating to methodologies for baselines and monitoring prepare drafts agendas, speaking notes, drafts recommendations, proposals options and other documents assist in the implementation of procedures relating to the consideration of methodologies under the CMD participate in the intergovernmental process relating to CMD, among others.
Location: Bonn, Germany
Deadline: 15 May 2009
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)
Marco van der Harst (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)