Documents in European Community Environmental Law

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  1. Implementing and enforcing EU legislation
  2. Documents in European Community environmental law | IUCN
  3. Further reading
  4. European environmental law

This is understandable insofar as the topic requires a deep knowledge of the different legal system s and the case-law of the European Court of Justice ECJ. Because of the dominance of lawyers and administrative scientists researching in this area, only a small part of the proposals touched application and enforcement issues. It took until when Vervaele published Compliance and Enforcement of European Community Law , which included a collection of papers on compliance and enforcement issues.

In recent years, the focus of analysis centred clearly on the drafting process and the transposition of Community law into national law including the role of national parliaments. Very little work has been done on the application and enforcement phase. This can be explained by the fact that the whole implementation process including application and enforcement of Community law is the task of the Member States.


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The enforcement of Community law in particular involves a number of technical steps How to measure enforcement and its impact on the environment? What is needed for having effective inspection? In addition, comparing environmental enforcement activities across jurisdictions is an extremely difficult task.

Implementing and enforcing EU legislation

Ministries and agencies each monitor different laws operating within different legal systems, address different actors, apply different administrative and criminal enforcement styles and have different resources. As a result, simple comparisons based on numbers of enforcement actions, total penalties assessed and effluents discharged may not themselves indicate enforcement agencies' effectiveness and diligence.

One of the few existing national empirical studies from the criminological institute of the University Bonn in Germany came to the conclusion that the national enforcement practice is very deficient 9. Not because of any unwillingness or ignorance but because of structural problems!! In addition, most violations do not become known to the public authorities. In the case of violations that do become known, most inspection authorities choose a cooperative behaviour with the violators since they depend very much on the cooperation "good will" , the technical expertise and the data provided by those to be enforced.

Furthermore, local politicians often have no interest in pursuing important local enterprises for environmental infringements. Moreover, it seems that, the more the inspection authorities are dependent on the ones to be enforced the more the authorities seek a cooperative behaviour and the less likely they are to propose administrative or criminal sanctions Thus, despite all the technological progress in recent years, there is surprisingly little knowledge about the real dimensions of the problem.

A number of Member States still do not have environmental reporting systems in place that can statistically measure the number of shortcomings. The organisation which is - at least theoretically - the least able to report on the state of implementation in the Member States, the European Commission, reports every year in its reports on the control of application of Community law.

Only improved reporting and data management systems will reveal the exact dimensions of the problem. On the theory of effective implementation, two schools of thought and practice have developed since the s regarding the design of implementation strategies. The first has sought to identify variables that account for shortcomings in implementation - for example, the ambiguity and lack of clarity in policy objectives, the participation of too many actors and overlapping authorities, the lack of motivation from implementers and the resistance or inefficiencies which have been cited as prominent reasons for implementation problems.

To ameliorate ambiguity, proponents of this theory suggest more specific, detailed and consistent objectives in legal texts and a "top-down" approach to be followed by lower-level organisations and personnel. As regards the excessive number of actors, the consequences are identified in overlapping responsibilities and a potential veto power over implementation by too many actors. This inevitably leads to increased possibilities for those who have to implement a programme to circumvent the process.

Suggestions for improving the situation propose clear lines of responsibility, minimising the number of participants in the policy process, centralisation and better coordination mechanisms. To summarise, supporters of this diagnosis would produce a well-specified plan that has clear and detailed objectives, clean lines of responsibility and limited participation in policy-making and require minimum discretion for all levels of implementers, particular policy deliverers.

As regards European environmental policy this would require "top-down capacities" and a high level of trust in European environmental policy. Both preconditions are currently rather diminishing than developing. The second school of thought argues that ambiguity, participation, and discretion in fact contribute to effective implementation. It is argued that implementation problems arise because of overspecification and rigidity of goals, the failure to engage relevant actors in decision-making and the excessive control of policy deliverers through command-and-control approaches.

The ideal "is the establishment of a process that allows policy to be modified, specified, and revised - in a word, adapted - according to the unfolding interaction of the policy with its institutional setting. Its outcomes would be neither automatic nor assured, and it would look more like a disorderly learning process than a predictable procedure". In addition, one can assume that when people participate they are motivated to do a good job.

In European environmental policy and law, methods and instruments used until the s such as detailed directives combined with little flexibility given to the Member States to reach the objectives, little openness to participants and to the public followed clearly the first school of thought. Unfortunately, Member States often transposed or copied European environmental regulations but did not enforce them owing to problems in the enforcement process, lack of information and management skills at the subnational level, reluctance of decentralised authorities and the private sector, general lack of inter- and intra-ministerial cooperation and coordination and too little involvement of stakeholders and public authorities in the policy process.

The beginning of the s was marked rather by a policy of deregulation, criticism of any "top-down" approach and command-and-control instruments, more openness and a new flexibility.

The culmination of this phase was when the discussions on the principle of subsidiarity threatened the very existence of European environmental policy and even the survival of the control unit within the DG Environment. It covers general principles in overview, delineation of competences, types of EU law and compliance obligations. This Practice Note provides an outline of the possible implications of Brexit on environmental law.


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  6. It includes EU competence in relation to the environment, EU institutions and bodies in relation to environment, EU policy in relation to environment, a summary of the withdrawal process in relation to Brexit including the European Union Withdrawal Act , Withdrawal Agreement and developments affecting environmental protection, details on the Environmental Principles and Governance Bill and c Almost 90, registrations for chemicals manufactured in or imported to the EU and EEA, at above one tonne a year, have been submitted by 13, European companies to be published by the ECHA on a regulatory database.

    The information was submitted over a ten-year registration period for existing chemicals launched by the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals REACH Regulation, in an effort to promote awareness and transparency in the industry. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 29 June This follows requests from Member States as the legislation is key for the promotion of energy performance improvements in buildings within the EU.

    It offers guidance on building automation and controls, e-mobility and inspections. The European Council has published its strategic agenda for — Julie Vaughan, senior associate at Herbert Smith Freehills, comments on the agenda, saying it makes it clear The EIR maps out the state of environmental policies and rules implementation in each Member State and identifies the causes of implementation gaps.

    Documents in European Community environmental law | IUCN

    It also includes recommendations for improvements where necessary. This webinar looks at Brexit and what this might mean for certain aspects of environmental, property and construction law. This Practice Note also links to related Brexit content. It also covers the scope, purpose and objectives of the NEC Directive, the It looks at main changes to this directive, key requirements and definitions, competent authorities, zones and agglomerations, air quality assessment, air quality management, plans, inform It also addresses the need for Member States to apply stricter emissio It summarises the scope and objectives of the Industrial Emissions Directive, implementation in England and Wales, and considers each chapter of the Industrial Emissions Directive including the common provis It was produced in partnership with Laura Bolado.

    Further reading

    It looks at how F-gases are contained and when leak detection systems are required, how F-gases can be placed on the market and their use controlled, a reduction in the quantity of certain F-gases placed on the market using a quota system, as well as applicable reporting requirements. The framework complements and builds on pre-existing policies, such as the EU Climate and Energy Package with the view of tackling more effectively climate change and the EU energy dependency on non-EU countries in the years to come.

    The Practice Note considers the purpose and scope of the ESD, key definitions and requirements, emissions levels for the period —, energy efficiency This Practice Note is a snapshot on the EU Climate Change Policy and provides an overview of the EU action taken in the fight against climate change from the 's to the present.

    It helps identify the areas where the EU measures have been more effective and highlights the progress made in the past 25 years. This Practice Note is a snapshot on the EU Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in It is used as a basis of EU actions in sectors such as energy, construction, transport, energy-intensive industries, etc which are core to improving energy efficiency and developing a low-carbon economy in the years to come.

    It explains the key provisions of the Habitats Directive, including requirements for Member States to: maintain or restore European protected habitats and species at a favourable conservation status, designate Special Areas of Conservation SACs , ensure appropriate assessment of plans and projects likely to have a significant effect on the integrity of an SAC, manage landscape features, undertake surveillance of habitats an It covers the protection, management and control of these species and sets out rules for their exploitation.

    It was produced in partnership with Begonia Filgueira of Foot Anstey.

    Main Principles of EU Environmental Law- seminar training

    It requires all EU countries to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain from its production to its final consumption. This Practice Note also links to re This Practice Note provides a snapshot of the key aspects of the EU Directive on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment the SEA Directive and its implementation in England and Wales through the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations It covers: mandatory assessment and discretionary assessment; excluded environmental impact assessment plans and programmes; the assessment procedure; and the review of the SEA Directive.

    It covers aims and objectives, implementation, offences, and penalties and liabilities.

    European environmental law

    This Practice Note includes details on the background of this recast POPs Regulation, purpose, scope, definitions and key requirements, such as control of production, placing on the market and use and exemptions fr This snapshot explains the key aspects of the EU Regulation on the registration, evaluation, authorisation, and restriction of chemicals. This directive sets out the rules on the packaging and labelling of dangerous substances. It implements the Rotterdam Convention on prior informed consent procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade.

    This Practice Note details key elements, objectives and scope and focuses on other important ar It contributes to the protection of human health and the environment, as well as recovery and disposal environmentally sound waste EEE.

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