EEL Newsservice 2007/21, 6 December 2007

Added to Case Law, ECJ
C-263/07, Commission vs. Luxembourg
ECJ 29-11-2007, nyr
On 29 November 2007 the European Court of Justice ruled that Luxembourg had failed to fulfil its obligations under Directive 96/61/EC concerning integrated pollution prevention and control. Pursuant to the judgement, Luxembourg did not comply with the requirement of the use of the best available techniques under Article 9 paragraph 4, as well as it failed to give effect to Article 13 paragraph 1 regarding the periodical revision of permit conditions.
Sector: Air

C-508/06, Commission vs. Malta
ECJ 29-11-2007, nyr
The ECJ condemned Malta on 29 November 2007 for failing to fulfil its obligations as required by Directive 96/59/EC. This Directive obliged Member States to draw up plans and outlines for the disposal of two dangerous substances, namely polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated terphenyls. Malta should have been in compliance with this Directive since its accession to the EU, the 1st of May 2004.
Sector: Dangerous substances

Added to Legal texts, Water

* Directive 2007/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on the assessment and management of flood risks
A new element of the EC water-related legislation entered into force on 26 November 2007. Directive 2007/60/EC on flood risk management aims at coordinating activities of Member States to prevent cross-border flood impacts and prescribes national prevention measures. Member States have to comply with the Directive in three successive stages. First, they are required to conduct a preliminary assessment, which is to be followed by the drawing up of flood risk maps and, finally, by the adoption of flood management plans. The public has to be informed and occasionally consulted in all three stages.
Added to Sectors, Climate Change
* The Bali Climate Change talks began
Representatives of almost 190 nations have gathered to Bali, Indonesia, for the thirteenth United Nations Climate Change Conference, which began on 3 December 2007. The event, organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, is expected to lay down the foundations of a international agreement that would follow the first commitment period under the Kyoto protocol, which ends in 2012. The EU endeavours to play a leading role in these negotiations, as stated also by the Environment Council conclusions adopted on 30 October 2007; accordingly, the EU will aim at limiting global warming to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Most recently, on 26 November 2007, Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas, in a speech delivered in Lisbon, reiterated the EU’s position to keep the combat against climate change on the top of the political agenda.

* Australia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol
On 3 December 2007, on the Bali Climate Talks, Australia’s newly elected government agreed to sign the ratification documents of the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Australia has become the thirty-seventh country to undertake the obligations imposed by the protocol. The United States of America thereby remained the only industrialised nation that did not ratify the Protocol.

* EU and US launches proposal for free movement of green goods
The EU and the US submitted their joint proposal for the liberalisation of the trade of environmental-friendly goods and services on 30 November 2007. The text is expected to be discussed on the Bali Trade Ministers’ summit on Climate Change during the course of the following week. The joint initiative was created under the Doha Development Agenda of the World Trade Organisation and reflects the EU’s intention to spread green technologies in developing countries and thereby address climate change. The process envisaged in the proposal will establish the free movement of certain goods, such as solar panels as well as will lead to the negotiation of a related agreement.

* EEA Report No 5/2007 is optimistic about EU-15 achieving Kyoto targets
The European Environment Agency (EEA) on 27 November released a report (No 5/2007) on the trends and projections of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 2007. The analysis of the fifteen old Member States concluded that although further implementation of existing programmes is needed, these countries are likely to achieve their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, notably an 8% reduction of emissions as compared to 1990 levels. According to the most optimistic calculations of the report, the EU-15 has the potential to reduce its emissions by 11.4 % in the period 2008-2012.

Added to Sectors, Energy

* MEP’s amend Commission update of fuel quality Directive
On 27 November 2007 the Environment Committee of the European Parliament voted on the Commission proposal COM(2007)0018 that would amend Directive 98/70/EC on fuel quality in order to monitor and reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from road transport fuels. The text adopted by the EP at first reading agrees in principle with the strict sustainability criteria suggested by the Commission, while it proposes shorter compliance dates for low sulphur-fuels and introduces quality standards for bio fuels to avoid unsustainable production.

Added to Sectors, Water

* Eight Member States receive reasoned opinions for violating ship pollution Directive
Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal and the United Kingdom were sent reasoned opinions by the European Commission on 28 November 2007. According to the Commission, all the above mentioned countries failed to properly transpose Directive 2005/35/EC on ship-source pollution as they fid not adopt national legislation on penalties against those responsible for polluting discharges at sea. Sending a reasoned opinion is the last procedural step before the Commission turns to the European Court of Justice.

* Multiannual plan for the recovery of bluefin tuna stocks
On 26 November 2007, the Agriculture and Fisheries Council agreed on a draft Regulation, which will create a multiannual recovery plan to address the alarming reduction of bluefin tuna stocks in the waters of the Member States. The Regulation will transpose the Community’s obligations under the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) into national legislations. The Convention prescribes control measures, regulates recreational fishing and marketing as well as includes provisions of a technical nature. The final text of the Regulation will be adopted at a subsequent meeting of the Council.

National Pages

The following national pages have been updated: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, The Netherlands, Polandand Spain

Notably the following recent information was introduced:

Added to National Pages, Bulgaria

* Operational Programme ENVIRONMENT
The Operational Programme “Environment” is one of the seven operational programmes developed under the National Strategic Reference Framework of the Republic of Bulgaria for the programming period 2007-2013. The operational programme (OP) is based on the goals and priorities of EU environmental policy and reflects the international environmental commitments that Bulgaria has undertaken, as well as both the commitments undertaken to the EU in the pre-accession period, and the specific national interests. The OP “Environment” is developed in the frames of the convergence objective of the European Community and will be implemented with the financial support of the European Union (through the Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund).

Added to National Pages, Czech Republic
* Illegal dumping should be criminalised, says Czech Environmental Inspection
According to the Czech Environmental Inspection (CIZP), unauthorised handling of hazardous waste should be classified as a criminal offence. The CIZP has included this suggestion in its report prepared for the Czech National Security Council, following an inspection conducted in the first half of 2007. This inspection was ordered after revealing two major illegal waste dumps in spring 2007, both of which had to be liquidated on costs of the Czech government.

Added to National Pages, Poland

* Polish ban on plastic bags is unconstitutional
The governor of the Polish region of Łódź has annulled a decision of the Łódź city municipal council to ban disposable plastic bags in the retails sector as of June 2008. According to the governor, such a prohibition violates the constitution since it should have been declared by the Polish Parliament instead of a municipal council.

News and events
Added to Events

* CO2 Introductory Training Course
The training provides those who need a thorough understanding of how carbon markets work with an insight into policy, legislation and regulation. Participants of the course will be familiarized with an integrated framework for trading both in the EU ETS (phases 1 and 2) and within the CDM and JI markets.
Location: Oslo, Norway
Date: 24 January 2008

* The Concentrated Solar Power Congress
The first in a global series of gatherings for Concentrated Solar Power professionals, the conference will discuss the ways how the potential of CSP could be exploited.
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Date: 5-6 February 2008
Added to Job Postings

* T.M.C. Asser Institute – PhD candidate / Consultant public procurement relative to EU law
The PhD candidate will carry out research that will result in a successful PhD on public procurement, possibly in relation to environmental protection issues, within four years. He/she will carry out contract research in the field of public procurement, and, at times, in other areas of EU law.
Location: The Hague, Netherlands

* United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) – Chief, Energy Resources Section, P-5
The Chief of Energy Resources Section will be involved in strategic planning as well as he/she will carry out programmatic or administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Section and will represent the Section before other organisations.
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Deadline: 17 December 2007

* United Nations Environment Programme  (UNEP) – Director, D-2
The Director will formulate and implement the substantive work programme of the Division of Regional Cooperation and will also co-ordinate UNEP’s participation in the national UN common programming processes especially Common Country Assessments and United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Deadline: 22 December 2007

* United Nations Environment Programme  (UNEP) – Chief, Poverty and Environment, D-1
In the Division of Regional Cooperation, the Chief will be entrusted with developing and coordinating the United Nations Development Programme-United Nations Environment Programme Global Poverty-Environment Initiative.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Deadline: 28 December 2007

* European Environment Agency – Project Manager, Grade AD 6
The European Environment Agency is seeking to recruit two temporary agents, who will be entrusted with analysing environmental scenarios and assessing environmental themes or sectoral issues, both at the European level and in selected regions.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Deadline: 7 January 2008