EU Commission launches pre-Christmas legal blitz

The European Commission has launched a massive legal offensive against Member States who are dragging their feet on environmental law implementation and enforcement.


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The blitz includes some 22 reasoned opinions (official warnings) and 14 applications to the European Court of Justice, so far in December. Bearing the brunt of the legal onslaught is Belgium, which picked up no less than seven warning/actions. Belgium was also recently said to be lagging behind in environmental performance by the latest OECD review – see related article

The links below provide direct information on each of the actions, from the Commission’s information service, to access them, you will need to enter the username “guest” and the password “guest”:

  Reasoned Opinions to Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom for failure to communicate implementing legislation for an EU Directive dealing with PCBs.

 

Reasoned Opinion to Belgium challenging legislation for Flanders and Wallonia which allows authorisations related to EU environmental legislation to come into existence in the absence of an express act of the administration.

  Applications to the European Court of Justice against Greece and Portugal for failure to adopt certain necessary implementing measures to give effect to the EU’s Eco-management and audit Scheme.

  Application to the European Court of Justice against Portugal for non-respect of the two principal EU Directives dealing with genetically modified organisms + applications to the Court against Belgium and Greece for failure to adopt and communicate to the Commission national legislation transposing a Directive which adapts one of the principal Directives to technical progress.

  Reasoned Opinions to several Member States for failure to notify the necessary legislation to give effect to two Directives relating to air pollution.

 

Reasoned Opinion to Germany and application to the European Court of Justice against Ireland for their failure to adopt and communicate to the Commission waste management plans complying with all of the following three Directives on waste – the Framework Waste Directive, the Hazardous Waste Directive and the Packaging Waste Directive.

 

Steps against Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Greece and Spain under Article 171 of the Treaty establishing the European Union for their failure to comply with previous judgements of the ECJ concerning environmental legislation.

  Application to the European Court of Justice against the United Kingdom for failure to adopt and communicate to the Commission implementing legislation covering Gibraltar in respect of a number of environmental Directives.

  Reasoned Opinions under Article 169 of the EC Treaty to Belgium, Italy and Portugal in respect of a directive requiring reports on the implementation of EU environmental legislation.

 

Second application to the European Court of Justice and to seek financial penalties against Italy under Article 171 of the EC Treaty for Italy’s failure to comply with a previous Court judgement concerning the EU Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive.

  Application to the European Court of Justice against Portugal for the failure of the Portuguese legislation to give correct effect to the Waste Oils.

  Application to the European Court of Justice against Belgium for non-respect of the Eco-label Regulation.

 

Applications to the Court of Justice against Belgium for non-respect of the Packaging Waste Directive.

  Reasoned Opinions to Belgium, Greece, Germany and Portugal for failure to communicate implementing legislation for two Directives relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances.

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