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The court ruled that Germany had failed to properly transpose the Directive on freedom of access to information on the environment on three counts:

  • by failing to provide for access to be given to information during administrative proceedings where the public authorities have received information in the course of those proceedings;
  • by failing to provide for information to be supplied in part where it is possible to separate out information covered by confidentiality or privelege;
  • by allowing a charge to be made where no failing to provide that a charge is to be made only where information is in fact supplied.

In the case of the Directive on the disposal of waste oils, the Court found that Germany had failed to properly transpose the legislation, because it made not provisions to give priority to recycling/regeneration of oil in preference to incineration. The Court judged that “there were a number of measures which could have contributed towards attaining the objective of giving priority to the treatment of waste oils by regeneration and whose adoption was technically, economically and organisationally possible, but the Federal Republic of Germany has not adopted any such measure; on the contrary, it has stopped applying one of them and has taken no other appropriate steps with a view to attaining the objective pursued by Directive”.

State aid to coal industry upheld

Germany did win one case this week, where the ECJ rejected claims from the UK mining company RJB Mining plc that Commission-approved state aid to the German mining industry was in fact illegal.

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