Implementation of Environmental Legislation

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Antoinette Long, European Commission (EC) - Implementation of EU Environmental Legislation

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Implementation of Environmental Legislation

  1. 1. IMPLEMENTATION OFENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION EPA Workshop "State of the Environment in Ireland – Meeting the Main Environmental Challenges" Dublin, 27 June 2012 Antoinette Long Unit ENV A.2 – infringements DG Environment European Commission
  2. 2. Outline• EU environmental legislation• "Implementation"?• Infringement procedures• Current status of Irelands implementation of EU environmental law• Irelands challenges for the future
  3. 3. EU environmental legislation• More than 150 legal acts (since early 1970s)• Mostly directives• Covers all environmental sectors (waste, water, air, nature etc)• Includes horizontal instruments (EIA, access to information, etc.)
  4. 4. "Implementation"?• Full integration into national legislation• Legislation properly applied• Increasing emphasis on implementation by Commissioner
  5. 5. Implementation - Commission approach• 3 Commission Communications  2007 – all Commission policies  2008 – environment, with emphasis on Commission enforcement priorities  2012 – environment, with emphasis on information and responsiveness at Member State level• Preparations for 7th Environmental Action Progamme
  6. 6. What is an infringement procedure?• If a MS does not comply with EU legislation• Origins of an infringement case • Complaint • Petition/question from the EP • Own initiative• Three types of infringements • Non-communication • Non-conformity • Bad application
  7. 7. Infringement procedures – Treaty provisions• Art 17: Role of the Commission as guardian of the Treaty• Art 258: Infringement proceedings against Member States in case of failure to fulfil an obligation under the Treaty• Art 260: Lack of compliance with ECJ rulings – financial penalties• Art 279 : Possibility for ECJ to lay down interim measures
  8. 8. The infringement procedure in practice Article 258Letter of formal notice Reasoned Opinion Court of Justice Technical Technical meetings meetings 2 months 2 months for reply for reply Judgement of the ECJ Drawings Benoît Clément, 2011,
  9. 9. The infringement procedure in practice Article 260Letter of formal notice Court of Justice Technical meetings 2 months for reply First judgment of ECJ € Penalties and Second judgment lump-sum of ECJ Drawings Benoît Clément, 2011,
  10. 10. Irelands implementation of EU environmental lawInfringement Statistics• Comparison with other Member States• Sectors across EU• Sectors for Ireland
  11. 11. DG ENV cases per Member State 333 (21/06/2012) 353530 27 27 2725 2320 18 1515 14 13 12 12 11 10 1010 9 9 8 8 8 7 7 6 65 4 3 2 20 LT NL EE LU DK FI CZ LV AT MT SI DE HU RO SE BE CY SK FR IE UK BG PL EL ES PT IT
  12. 12. DG ENV cases by sector - 333 (21/06/2012) 7980 76 73706050 4440 3330 182010 6 3 10
  13. 13. IE environmental cases by sector - 14 (21/06/2012)5 4 44 332 1 1 110 AIR IMPACT MISCELLANEOUS NATURE WASTE WATER
  14. 14. Irelands implementation of EU environmental law• Historical context• Complexity of legislation• ECJ case-law not fully implemented• Difficulties in access to justice / information• High number of complaints to Commission
  15. 15. Irelands challenges for the future• Better application of environmental legislation• Better enforcement• Improved access to justice• Better public information• Fully implement outstanding ECJ judgments
  16. 16. Paths to follow .........• Example of "programme of measures" in waste case – http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/Environment/Waste/FileDo wnLoad,30458,en.pdf• Work on coordinated complaints system• Tools for enforcement: e.g. myplan.ie, geo-mapping, aerial surveys• Develop better public information tools, at national and local level; e.g. information leaflets• Build on accession to Aarhus
  17. 17. Thank you for your attention!• For further information: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/index_en.htm

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