Presentation on theme: "Introduction to EU Environmental Law"— Presentation transcript:
1 Introduction to EU Environmental Law Dr. Marc PallemaertsSenior Fellow, Institute for European Environmental Policy;Professor of European environmental law, University of Amsterdam; Professor of international and European environmental law, Université Libre de BruxellesLaw Faculty, Yerevan State UniversityYerevan, 14 October 2008
2 Objectives of the EUArticle 2 of the Treaty establishing the European CommunityThe Community shall have as its task … to promote throughout the Community a harmonious, balanced and sustainable development of economic activities, a high level of employment and of social protection, equality between men and women, sustainable and non-inflationary growth, a high degree of competitiveness and convergence of economic performance, a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment, the raising of the standard of living and quality of life, and economic and social cohesion and solidarity among Member States.
3 Objectives of EU environmental policy Article 174(1) of EC Treatypreserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environmentprotecting human healthprudent and rational utilisation of natural resourcespromoting measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems
4 Principles of EU environmental policy Article 174(2) of EC Treatyhigh level of protectionprecautionary principleprinciple of preventive actionprinciple of rectification at sourcepolluter pays principle
5 Principle of integration Article 6 of EC TreatyEnvironmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of [all] Community policies and activities … in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development.
6 Principle of subsidiarity Article 5 of EC TreatyIn areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Community shall take action, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed actioncannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States andcan therefore, by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved by the Community.
7 Legislative instruments of EU environmental policy EU institutions have supranational legislative authority and can issueDirectives: binding upon each Member State as to the result to be achieved, but choice of form and methods left to national authoritiesRegulations: binding and directly applicable in all Member StatesPrimacy of EU lawMain legislative instrument used in environmental policy = Directive
8 Obligations of Member States arising from Directives Transposition into legally binding norms of domestic law (administrative practice is not sufficient)Practical application of these norms in individual situationsEnforcement in the event of non-compliance (through administrative or criminal sanctions)
9 Structure of EU environmental law Substantive environmental standards applying to specific environmental media or sources of environmental interference (sectoral)Procedural environmental standards applying to conduct of environmental policy by public authorities and environmental rights of citizens (horizontal)
10 Substantive environmental law Main areas covered:Water qualityAir qualityNoise controlIndustrial pollution controlWaste prevention and managementManagement of chemicalsManagement of GMOsNature conservation and biodiversity
11 Procedural environmental law Main instruments used:Integrated environmental permits (IPPC)Environmental impact assessment (EIA)Strategic environmental assessment (SEA)Environmental management and audit (EMAS)Freedom of access to environmental informationPublic participation in environmental decision-makingAccess to justice in environmental matters
12 Water qualityWater Framework Directive (2000/60/EC):Overall framework for water policyBased on integrated river basin managementMember States to establish river basin management plans and programmes of measures to achieve « good water status » by 2015Combined approach (environmental quality standards and source controls)
13 Specific Directives on: Drinking water quality (98/83/EC) Urban waste water treatment (91/271/EEC)Nitrates from agricultural sources (91/676/EEC)Bathing water (2006/7/EC)Groundwater (2006/118/EC)
14 Air qualityFramework Directive on ambient air quality assessment and management (96/62/EC):Establishment of and compliance with air quality standards for specific pollutantsAction plans if standards exceededMonitoring requirementsAlert thresholdsInformation and reporting requirements
15 Specific Directives on: Air qualitySpecific Directives on:National emission ceilings for specific pollutants (2001/81/EC)Vehicle emissionsFuel quality standardsEmissions of volatile organic compounds (1999/13/EC)Greenhouse gas emissions trading (2003/87/EC)
16 Waste prevention and management Waste Framework Directive (2006/12/EC):Definition of waste, waste recovery and disposalGeneral principles of waste managementProducer responsibility/polluter paysPermit system for recovery and disposal operationsMonitoring of waste transportNational waste management plans
17 Waste prevention and management Specific Directives for specific types of waste:Hazardous waste (91/689/EEC)Batteries and accumulators (2006/66/EC)Packaging and packaging waste (94/62/EC)Waste oils (75/439/EEC)End of life vehicles (2000/53/EC)Waste electrical and electronic equipment (2002/96/EC)Mining waste (2006/21/EC)
18 Waste prevention and management Specific Directives establishing environmental standards for specific forms of waste disposal:Waste incineration (2000/76/EC)Landfills (1999/31/EC)Regulation on transfrontier shipments of waste (1013/2006/EC)
19 Management of chemicals New Regulation on Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH):Registration requirement for all substances produced and imported in EUIndustry to gather and submit information on health and environmental hazardsEvaluation of risks through systematic procedureMost hazardous chemicals only to be used subject to authorization (principle of substitution)
20 Integrated environmental permit Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) (96/61/EC):Harmonized list of activities subject to IPPC permit throughout EUMember States to ensure activities not operated without permit/permit may not be issued unless activity complies with DirectiveEmission limit values based on best available techniques (BAT)Public information and participationMonitoring and enforcement requirements
21 Environmental impact assessment Directive on EIA (85/337/EEC):All public/private projects likely to have significant effect on environmental subject to EIAMember States may not issue permit before EIA performedHarmonized list of projects subject to EIA throughout EUOther projects to be determined by Member StatesEIA must be made public/public must be given opportunity to comment before permit is issued
22 Procedural environmental rights Conceptual foundation as expressed in Article 1 of Aarhus Convention (approved by EC on 17 February 2005):“In order to contribute to the protection of the right of every person of present and future generations to live in an environment adequate to his or her health and well-being, each Party shall guarantee the rights of access to information, public participation in decision-making, and access to justice in environmental matters in accordance with the provisions of this Convention.”
23 Public access to environmental information Directive on public access to environmental information (2003/4/EC) implements requirements of Aarhus Convention in EU law:Broad definition of environmental informationRight of access to environmental information held by public authorities/citizens need not demonstrate interestLimited list of exceptions/public authorities must give reasons for refusalAccess within 30 days of requestReview procedure available if refusal
24 Public participation in decision-making Directive on public participation in environmental decision-making (2003/35/EC) implements requirements of Aarhus Convention in EU law:Public participation required in:procedures for establishment of plans and programmes relating to the environmentEIA procedures (Directive 85/337/EEC)IPPC permit procedures (Directive 96/61/EC)Public must be notified of application for permit, competent authority, nature of possible decision, available information and where it can be accessedPublic concerned shall be given early and effective opportunities to participate and be entitled to express comments and opinions when all options are openPublic must be informed of decision taken and the main reasons and considerations on which it is based
25 Access to justice in environmental matters Requirements of Article 9 of Aarhus Convention partly implemented in EU law:Member States shall ensure that public concerned has access to a review procedure before a court of law or another independent and impartial body established by law to challenge the substantive or procedural legality of decisions subject to public participation requirementsMember States shall ensure that person whose request for environmental information has been denied has access to administrative review procedure, followed by review procedure before a court of law or another independent and impartial body established by law
26 Access to justice in environmental matters Requirements of Article 9(3) of Aarhus Convention not implemented in EU law but to be implemented by Member States in their national law:Where they meet the criteria, if any, laid down in national law, members of the public shall have access to administrative or judicial procedures to challenge acts and omissions by private persons and public authorities which contravene provisions of national law relating to the environment.