ECJ rules on political grey area in Finnish islands

Confusion over Finland's environmental responsibilities towards self-governing islands off its coast have been cleared up by a court ruling.

Commission v Finland

Strategic Environmental Assessment

The ECJ has held that Finland, in failing to take within the prescribed time the necessary legislative, regulatory and administrative measures to transpose Directive 2001/42/EC on Strategic Environmental Assessment in relation to the Åland islands (the Swedish-speaking archipelago at the mouth of the Gulf of Bothnia, but which is an administrative province of Finland), has failed in its obligations under that Directive.

The Commission had issued a reasoned opinion inviting Finland to take the necessary measures to conform with the provisions of the Directive within two months, but took enforcement action through the Court when this was not done.

In response to Finland's argument that it was for the autonomous area to transpose the provisions of the Directive, the Court stated that Member States cannot use the provisions, practices and situations arising from their own administrative organisation to justify non-observance of community law.

The full text of the judgement is available in French at the following link.

Commission v Finland

RoHS in WEEE Directive

Another case against Finland has been reported this week, once again involving the Åland Islands. The ECJ has held that Finland, in failing to take within the prescribed time the necessary legislative, regulatory and administrative measures to transpose Directive 2002/95/EC on limits on the use of certain dangerous substances in electrical and electronic equipment in relation to the Åland islands, failed in its obligations under that Directive.

The full text of the judgement is available at the following link.

Commission v Finland

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

The ECJ has also held that Finland, in failing to take within the prescribed time the necessary legislative, regulatory and administrative measures to transpose Directive 2003/108/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment, had failed in its obligations under that Directive.

The full text of the judgement is available at the following link.

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