Papers in Land Management: No.

4
A Guide to European Environmental Law

A Short Guide to

European Environmental Law

Robert Home

Papers in Land Management
No. 4
2007

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Papers in Land Management: No. 4
A Guide to European Environmental Law

Papers in Land Management series
Land management covers a wide range of academic and professional areas relating to land - law
and public administration, land use planning, environmental protection, valuation and real estate,
and history. This series aims to make available papers which may not suit more conventional
academic publication. They may be work in progress, teaching material, reports of consultancy
work, or conference papers. Some papers are of specific geographical interest (eg Anglia Ruskin’s
region, and the Balkans where the Law School has collaborated), or in particular thematic areas
(eg environmental law, legal and planning history, and comparative land law). The series also aims
to support the work of UN Habitat’s Global Land Tools Network, to which the first two papers are
relevant, and set some common themes for the series. The series editor is Robert Home, Professor
of Land Management at the Anglia Law School, Anglia Ruskin University, Bishop Hall Lane,
Chelmsford CM1 1SQ, United Kingdom. For further details (and to propose a paper) contact him
at: r.home@anglia.ac.uk

Current papers
1. ‘This land belongs to you and me’: The global challenge of land management, by Robert
Home (2007)
2. Squatters or Settlers: Rethinking Ownership, Occupation and Use in Land Law, by Robert
Home and Hilary Lim (2007)
3. The Law of Settlements and Removals viewed as a model of property rights for the poor,
by Lorie Charlesworth (2007)
4. A Short Guide to European Environmental Law, by Robert Home (2007)
5. Municipal administrative reform and land development issues in the former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia, by Edward Frank, Corrado Minervini and Danica Pavlovska (2007)
6. Cambridge sub-region Traveller Needs Assessment, by Anglia Ruskin University and
Buckinghamshire Chiltern University College (2006)
7. Reconstructing Skopje, Macedonia, after the 1963 earthquake: The Master Plan forty
years on, by Robert Home (2007)
8. From colonial housing to planning for disasters: The career of David Oakley (1927-2003),
by Robert Home (2007)
9. On the planning history of Chelmsford, by Ana Fuller and Robert Home (2007)

Paper No. 4: Abstract
This short guide provides general guidance on relevant law, policy and practice, for use by degree-
level students, particularly in EU candidate countries. It was developed for the South Eastern
Europe University (Tetovo, Macedonia) to support the European Environmental Law [EEL]
elements in its postgraduate programmes. It is understood to be accurate as at 2007, but should
not be regarded as an authoritative source.

The author
Robert Home is a chartered town planner, and Professor in Land Management at the Anglia Law
School, Anglia Ruskin University. He lectures on environmental law, land management and
planning, has researched and published widely in these fields. In 2006 he was training consultant
in Macedonia on a project strengthening municipal capacity, funded by the European Agency for
Reconstruction.

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Papers in Land Management: No. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law Acknowledgements The author acknowledges the assistance of the following: Lynn Dyson-Bruce. Dennis Farrington. Murtezan Ismaili. Bistra Netkova and Silvie Shaqiri 2 .

2 Principles 6 2.4 Aarhus and the public role 7 2.3 Air and emissions 12 4.5 EU enlargement 8 3. Horizontal and sectoral measures 10 4.Conclusions 19 Note on further sources 3 .5 National measures 10 4.1 Law-making 8 3. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law Table of contents Page Section 4 1.4 Programmes and projects 9 3.Developing the environmental acquis 5 2. Implementing the acquis 8 3.5 Waste 14 4.Introduction 5 2.1 Treaties 5 2.3 Executive: European Commission 9. Papers in Land Management: No. Candidate country case: Macedonia 15 5.2 Macedonia country profile 16 5.3 Environmental liability and the polluter pays 6 2. 3.1 EU accession processes 15 5.3 Legislative reform 17 5.1 Introduction 10 4.6 Nature protection 15 5.2 Judicial: European Court of Justice 8 3.4 Water 13 4.4 Implementation 18 6.2 EIA 11 4.

Papers in Land Management: No. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law Abbreviations and acronyms BAT(NEEC) Best available technology (not entailing excessive costs) BERCEN Balkan Environmental Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Network CARDS Community Assistance for Reconstruction. Development and Stabilisation DG-ENV Environment Directorate-General of CEC EC Commission for the European Communities ECHR European Convention of Human Rights ECJ European Court of Justice EEL European Environmental Law EIA Environmental Impact Assessment ENEA European Network of Environmental Authorities for the Cohesion Policy EU European Union FYROM Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ICJ International Court of Justice IMPEL EU Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law EIA Environmental Impact Assessment IMS(S) Individual Member State(s) of EU IPPC Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control NGO Non-governmental organisation SEA Strategic Environmental Assessment SEEU South Eastern Europe University SD Sustainable Development UK United Kingdom USA United States of America 4 .

in the 2004 Macedonian Law on Environment.1 The environment at its simplest is ‘where we all live’ (according to the World Commission on Environment & Development). are situated. 5 .3 The EU is increasingly committed to a global environmental role. definition. and create conditions for.2 Environmental law seeks to provide support. A recent. with the member states required to implement levels of environmental protection as agreed among them. and impacts upon. rather more specific. protection against pollution and degradation of. setting allowable levels of pollution). Some environmental laws provide for assessing possible future impacts in advance (as part of the decision-making process). and continues to evolve rapidly. environmental areas and media. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 1 Introduction 1. while others regulate the quantity and nature of impacts of human activities (for example. their interaction and the entire space in which people live and in which settlements. 1. and so European environmental law [EEL] and policy has grown. including the media and the areas of the environment. natural and man-made values. As a distinct code of law it has developed since the 1960s in the major industrial economies. Papers in Land Management: No. This introduction summarises the law. goods in general use. is as follows: Environment shall mean the space with all living organisms and natural resources. i. with an example from the FYROM case. industrial and other facilities. 1. particularly as relevant to the candidate countries of the western Balkans. or ‘everything that’s not me (according to Albert Einstein).e.

2. From its origins in the 1970s with air and water directives. The polluter pays principle is discussed further in 2.2.1 Treaties 2. It addresses priority areas of climate change and clean energy.3. The precautionary principle (following Principle 15 of the 1992 Rio Declaration) is a variation upon the justiciable duty of care. sustainable transport. it now comprises some two hundred legal acts. and states that 6 . The International Court of Justice [ICJ] has occasionally adjudicated in inter-state environmental disputes. and one of the most important chapters in the European Treaty.1 EU law relies various principles (some contained in the European Treaty). but lacking effective enforcement mechanisms. but there are inadequate legal avenues to seek redress for cross- border environmental disasters. sustainable production and consumption.2 The proportionality principle asserts that any action of the Community shall not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objectives of the Treaty. within which the environmental acquis has grown rapidly. while the devolution of competence allows law to be applied by national. conservation and management of natural resources. 2.2 International agreements can only become concrete through country-specific laws and regulations.1 The primary sources of international environmental law are treaties and international agreements. and has achieved global recognition for its attempts to create a binding regulatory approach to environmental protection.1. and Article 6 now requires environmental protection to be integrated within EU policies through the cohesion process. but these generally do not have a binding nature. codes of practice. The SD Strategy is one of two horizontal principles of EU cohesion policy (the other being equal opportunities and non-discrimination) .4 The European Treaty first included ‘a policy in the sphere of the environment’ in 1987. and public health. and an international environmental court or tribunal remains a vision for the future.2 Principles 2.3 Other principles relate more directly to the environmental acquis.2.3 Each IMS commits itself to the acquis communautaire (the collective rights and obligations deriving from EU treaties and laws).1. They are ‘soft law’.2. The EU offers a regional arrangement that can require such undertakings to be absorbed into member states’ own legislative frameworks. based upon declarations.1. and Police and Judicial Co- operation). Environmental policy falls within the Community pillar of the three so-called ‘pillars’ of the EU (the others being Common Foreign and Security Policy. 2.1. 2. 2. Papers in Land Management: No. which are outlined here as relevant to EEL. The so-called ‘margin of appreciation’ offers each IMS a measure of discretion in how to interpret EU policy. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 2 Developing the EU environmental acquis 2. and the subsidiarity principle that decisions should be taken as closely as possible to the citizens. 2. regional or local government institutions.

4 Other principles can be briefly mentioned. and involves early consideration of environmental risks. Cost recovery mechanisms are based upon the doctrine of joint and several liability.3. the burden of proof falls on those advocating taking the action. Papers in Land Management: No. 2. To support this the Reporting Directive (91/692/EEC) requires IMSS to produce regular sectoral reports for public information. or massive deforestation.2. The EU has applied the Convention through the Aarhus Regulation (1367/2006) and directives on Access to Environmental Information (90/313/EEC. This shifts responsibility for dealing with waste from governments to those producing it. who must take necessary preventive and restorative measures for environmental damage. 2. The integration principle expects that environmental protection be a component of other EU policies. 2. in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue.1 The Aarhus International Convention (1998) established three crucial rights of the public (both as individuals and in association): access to environmental information held by public authorities on request (Rio Declaration Principle 10). if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public. although there is a wide discretion in application. The proximity principle states that environmental damage is best rectified at source. and educate citizens about their rights and obligations. The producer’s financial and/or physical responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumption stage of the product’s life cycle. 2. participation in environmental decision-making.4 Aarhus and the public role 2.2 The public and the community of NGOs have an important role in environmental protection. Thus. it introduces fault-based liability for operators (or the competent authority).4. both of which are potentially irreversible and unfair to future generations.4. giving them an incentive to incorporate environmental considerations into the design of their products.3.3 Environmental liability and the polluter pays. and access to justice (allowing them to challenge public bodies’ decisions). Claimed as a cornerstone of EEL. The principle of ‘shared responsibility’ expects all concerned groups to work in partnership together. or fair and reasonable apportionment. amended by 2003/4/EC) and Public Participation (2003/35/EC). 7 . run projects. and identifying environmental damage at source. 2. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law lack of full scientific certainty is no excuse to postpone measures for environmental protection. 2. Examples of its application could be the release of radiation or toxins. Preventive action is the concept that prevention is better than cure. collect information.1 The Polluter Pays Principle requires the polluting party to pay for environmental damage. for example by disposing of waste as close as possible to its place of origin. They can signal infractions.2 It has been extended with the Environmental Liability Directive (2004/35/EC) and the Extended Polluter Responsibility concept.

Approximation requires work on capacity-building and resourcing. and uses examples from four IMSS.2 With EEL growing in complexity and importance.5.5. with arrangements for implementation and enforcement measures.5 EU enlargement 2. operate a functioning market economy. The UK was chosen as a long-established IMS with substantial experience in implementation. 2. Portugal was also included as a relatively small IMS with high implementation costs. and having a partly decentralized political and administrative system.1 The Copenhagen criteria (agreed there in 1993 by the European Council) define whether a country is eligible to join the EU. reliable data and monitoring systems. Candidate countries are also required to bring their laws into line with the acquis communautaire before joining.5. 2. Papers in Land Management: No. and thus comparable with the South Balkan candidate countries. It is intended for use by governments in candidate countries. and accept the obligations and intent of the EU. and now running to some 900 pages).3 Approximation describes the process for transposing EU laws into national legislation. and action against environmental violations. They require institutions to preserve democratic governance and human rights. the EC in 1998 issued a Handbook for Implementation of EU Environmental Legislation in 1998 (revised in 2003. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 2. 8 . awareness-raising of industry and the public.

2 There are numerous direct actions against member states for failing to implement directives. but the opportunity for such derogations is limited. and its environment committee is particularly busy.2 The number of complaints lodged with the EC about environmental matters. Created in 1981 and based in Brussels. which can impose financial penalties upon the IMS. 3.1 EU laws operate through regulations (which have immediate and binding effect on each IMS) and directives (binding as to the results to be achieved. and Article 226 empowers the EC to take direct action against an IMS. being responsible for 20 percent of amendments to new laws and 40 percent of co-decision negotiations. and individuals and legal entities can take action against an IMS under Article 230 for the infringement of EC laws or procedure. and between rich and poor IMSS. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 3. National courts are required to take notice of any ECJ decision.3. A tendency is identified to legislate in a hurry. Directives are only directly enforceable against the IMS (not against individuals or companies).2. There is concern at differential application between Northern and Southern Europe. For example the EC in 2007 started legal action against 14 IMSS for inadequately transposing the Landfill Waste Directive into their national laws. 9 .1 Law-making 3. Papers in Land Management: No. and sort out the problems afterwards. lack of competence and misuse of power. In EEL most environmental matters proceed via directives. Implementing the acquis 3. its 650 staff are organised into various directorates. continues to grow.1. but leaving the IMS choice of form and methods).2 Judicial institutions 3. The sequence of procedural events is that a formal notice of infringement (with a time period for response) can be followed by a reasoned opinion. with IMS agreeing to measures without expressing their doubts about whether they can comply. 3.3 Executive institutions 3. 3.2. Where an IMS anticipates difficulty in transposing a directive into domestic laws. which is a temporary exemption from a particular legal provision for a period of years. Reporting requirements are often ignored. and accounts for about a third of all infringement cases investigated by the EC. 3.1 Article 10 of the European Treaty obliges member states to comply with EU laws. which usually require an unanimous vote by the Council of the EU {formerly the Council of Ministers).2 The European Parliament is responsible for law-making. it can be allowed a derogation. 3.1 The Environment Directorate-General of the EC (DG-ENV) is responsible for initiating legislation and ensuring that agreed measures are put into practice by member states.1. but an IMS can be required to pay compensation to individuals (under the so-called Francovitch liability).3. or for partial or incorrect implementation. mostly resulting from complaints by the public. and finally recourse to the European Court of Justice [ECJ] in Luxembourg.

1 The EU increasingly invests to support the environmental acquis. and the European Environment Agency prepares reports on the environment and co-ordinates work. against agreed indicators. Sustainable Use of Resources. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 3. 3. mid-term.4. and quality assurance procedures. as well as systems of penalties. permitting (issue of regulatory permits). created in 1993 to assist the implementation of EEL (hence its name). 3. 3. and the sanction levels for offences. the EC is preparing a new directive on environmental crime. Competence may be devolved and divided. the scope of liability.5 National measures 3.5.2 Projects are funded through LIFE (the Financial Instrument for the Environment).2 Because current sanctions against non-observance of EEL are regarded as insufficient to achieve full compliance. Other networks include ENEA (bringing together experts. Experience suggests. for example.4. international organisations. 3. 3. and provides an opportunity to work together informally.Sustainable Use of Pesticides. Papers in Land Management: No.9 billion euros for 2007-13) has three strands: Nature and Biodiversity. risk management. Protection and Conservation of the Marine Environment. projects and networks. while respecting the cultural values of IMSS. The IMPEL network. and the programme tries to ensure that project pipelines do not exceed the absorptive capacity of the IMS. whose current programme (1. and at the end. 10 . Scientific knowledge on the environment is advanced through the research and development programmes. Prevention and Recycling of Waste. Good enforcement of EEL at IMS level requires strong and committed environmental inspectorates with adequate resources. supported by the ‘partnership’ principle and greater participation. and Urban Environment. Environment Policy and Governance.5. that permitting of land use development and dissemination of environmental information are best organized at local rather than national level.3 Collaborative networks are used to improve implementation and enforcement. for example between national. includes IMSS and candidate countries.4 Programmes and projects 3. to harmonize the categorization of serious offences. and Information and Communication. and promote mutual understanding of the common characteristics and differences of national regulatory systems.1 The so-called competent authorities (usually in the public sector) are responsible for implementing and enforcing EEL.3 Decentralized environmental management systems with NGOs and companies require new working arrangements.4. Individual projects are closely checked at the proposal stage. Thus the Sixth Environmental Action Programme (2002-12) has seven thematic strategies: Air Pollution. through various programmes. Soil.5. With widespread failure to transpose EEL into national law. regional and local government institutions. environmental capacity- building is becoming an area of increasing importance. and BERCEN specifically for the South Balkan candidate countries. and inspection (practical and technical aspects of inspection and enforcement). and environmental NGOs). It organizes its work in three ‘pillars’: policy-making (better legislation).

and civil protection. amended and extended by 97/11/EEC and 2003/55/EC) is a cornerstone of horizontal EEL. climate and landscape.3 There have been many complaints to the EC about non-implementation of EIA directives. Cases brought before the ECJ include Kraaijeveld (1996) and Bozen (2000). predicting. (See section 2. much law was concerned with air and water quality. material assets and cultural heritage.3 for environmental liability.2. chemicals and GMOs. nature protection.3 The EIA Directive (85/337/EEC. aiming to improve legislation and decision-making. and with the concept of preventive action.2 An environmental statement is prepared by specialists on behalf of the developer.2. power stations. but the scope of EEL has since widened greatly. soil. and the statement is available for public consultation.) The EEL Handbook also has sections on other areas which are beyond the scope of this short guide: noise. It requires member states to incorporate EIA in their planning systems.2. The statement identifies the likely significant environmental effects of the development (including the construction phase. and the interaction between them. Papers in Land Management: No. which this section discusses. radioactive waste treatment. fauna and flora.2. and are more procedural.2 EIA can embrace a wide range of scientific and technical aspects. 4. air. and cover such matters as the extent of discretion. chemical installations). 11 . water. It is thus closely linked with the land use planning system’s role in approving or refusing new development. industrial and extraction plants. It covers direct and indirect effects on humans. nuclear safety and radiation protection. The competent authority sets the parameters through a scoping exercise. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 4. and forms part of the application for permission to undertake the development.4 for horizontal legislation on public involvement. and assesses costs and benefits (eg more sustainable transport.1 EIA is the process of identifying. and makes EIA mandatory for certain major ‘Annex I’ projects (eg transport infrastructure. EIA is recognized under international law (eg by the ICJ). 4. 4. to include such matters as waste management. and environmental liability. and deciding whether a particular Annex II development required an EIA.2 EIA 4. In the early years of EU environmental protection. Originating in the USA in the late 1960s.1 Introduction Horizontal legislation concerns matters which cut across different areas rather than a specific sector. 4. 4. evaluating and mitigating the environmental effects of development proposals before major decisions are taken and commitments made. For Annex II developments the competent authority MAY require an EA. Horizontal and sectoral measures 4. and section 2. with assessment criteria devised case-by-case. industrial pollution and risk management. remediation of past contamination). and proposed monitoring and mitigation measures). housing and tourism developments. and has expanded demand for specialist consultants in a range of scientific areas. and has generated a large literature.2.

4. and annual instead of triennial reporting. An SEA covers such matters as baseline data requirements and scoping.4 Emissions trading (or cap-and-trade) offers economic incentives for achieving reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide).4 The EIA approach has been extended through the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (EC 2001/42/EEC). and since 2006 has been extended to include more emitting facilities. 4. the more firms that need to buy credits. water management. transport. the first European-wide register of industrial emissions into air and water. 4. The EU is taking measures to reduce greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide) by increasingly stringent emission standards.3.1 Air pollution has been a priority since the early days of EU environmental protection. IMSS are required to adopt national targets for renewables against an EC target of 22 percent of electricity from renewables by 2010. screening processes for cases. industry. The IPPC Directive (96/61/EEC) requires a system of permits for certain industries. under which. require more substances reported. The key is the Directive on the Promotion of Electricity from Renewable Energy Sources in the Internal Electricity Market (2001/77/EC).3. 4. cement. the higher the price of credits becomes. SEAs are mandatory for plans and programmes in the following sectors: agriculture.3. with initiatives such as the Seveso Directive (96/82/EC) to control dioxin emissions after the major accident at Seveso. protection objectives. and an integrated and international approach. and animal feed).3 Air and emissions 4. This requires public authorities (and private providers of public services) to assess the potential significant environmental effects of their plans and programmes (including transboundary effects). The climate change levy seeks to reduce emissions in energy-intensive industry sectors (such as brewing.2 The global atmosphere in international law has a status of ‘common concern’. telecommunications. town and country planning or land use. and mitigation/monitoring measures. Papers in Land Management: No. In 2005 the EC adopted a thematic strategy on air pollution. printing. and the CAFÉ (Clean Air for Europe) Programme provides technical analysis and policy development. which include emission limits and application of Best Available Techniques. and the pace of collaboration through conventions and protocols has accelerated with the Kyoto initiative. tourism. wider coverage and public participation. Companies or other entities that emit the pollutant are given credits or allowances which represent a right to emit a specific amount. and are linked to more energy generation from renewable sources (particularly wind power). which makes reducing emissions cost-effective in comparison. 12 . although in practice the first phase of the scheme ended with the collapse of carbon credit prices. assessment of alternatives. fisheries. energy.3 The EU created in 2000 an European Pollutant Emission Register.3. forestry. and if exceeding their allowances must buy credits from those who pollute less than their allowances. In theory. 4. waste management.3.5 Moves to achieve a low carbon economy are reinforced through the cohesion policy’s SD focus. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 4.2.

bathing water and ground-water. Papers in Land Management: No. A ‘first wave’ of water directives in the 1970s concerned such matters as surface water. 4. and stop the deterioration of wetlands and such ecological habitats. future infrastructure investment will require EIA to identify rights and risks of affected groups. 4. It rationalises and updates existing water legislation. drinking water. and will require flood protection plans. with the protection of water quality always a concern of EU environmental regulation. following a review. promotion of SD).4 A national environment agency is normally the competent authority for implementing these measures. A proposed new Floods Directive responds to this situation. rectification at source.3 The key to the Water Framework Directive is the concept of river basin management. or significant flood risk. A Common Implementation Strategy includes working groups on key activities. and cost over €25 billion in insured economic losses. The general principles of EEL are applied (precautionary. requiring closer co-operation between competent authorities (sometimes across IMS boundaries). co-ordinated framework for water management aims to improve water quality. 13 .1 Water is arguably the most comprehensively regulated area of EEL. which seek to balance competing land uses.4. With more than half the world’s population predicted to live in water-stressed countries by the year 2025. A ‘second wave’. these caused some 700 fatalities. testing and validation. polluter pays.4 Water 4. preventive action. called River Basin Districts. which are 'characterised' by assessing pressures and impacts. data management. 4. and hazards mitigated. The first step is to identify water bodies and the surrounding land area.6 Dams have also become part of the SD debate. and flood risk assessments to determine what developments can proceed. risk maps for areas at risk.4. The long-term. 4.4. The World Commission on Dams (2000) found that only 40 percent of dams commissioned in the 1990s had any EIA. and often works through non-statutory partnerships. but the local land use planning system can restrict future development if there might be shortages of water supply. Pollution is tackled by setting minimum quality standards and the maximum quantities of pollutants that may be discharged.4. so that inland and coastal waters can hopefully achieve ‘good status’ (ecological. An integrated policy on the long-term sustainable use of water will expand protection to cover all water bodies. such as information sharing. gradually replacing the ‘old water directives’ (eg urban waste water.2 A further review and more global approach resulted in the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). freshwater fish and drinking water). ‘Priority’ and ‘priority hazardous’ substances should be identified. displaced half a million people. A River Basin Management Plan should set out how to improve water quality. included the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (91/271/EEC) and the Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) on nitrates from agricultural sources (which can permeate into the water table. such as overuse or pollution.5 Between 1998 and 2004 Europe suffered over 100 major floods (with catastrophic floods along the Danube and Elbe rivers in 2002).4. with local land use planning policy having a significant role. with adverse effects on human health). 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 4. reduce risks (for example from drought or flooding). 4.4. chemical and/or quantitative) by the year 2015.

3 The EU defines waste as that which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 4. hazardous waste. and it is a major challenge for candidate countries. Local authorities also have a key role in implementation. agricultural waste. b) Proximity (disposal as close as possible to the source of production) c) Producer responsibility d) Self-sufficiency(avoiding expensive and counter-productive transboundary movements) e) The polluter pays (and its derivatives) 4. 14 . technical and monitoring requirements. and public rights of access to information. more concentrated disposal facilities.1 Waste management has also long been a major area of EU environmental policy. There are five key principles: a) A waste management hierarchy that prioritises (in descending order) re-use. use as a source of energy. Papers in Land Management: No. recycling and recovery.5. requiring a well-prepared and co-ordinated strategy. and educate the public into classifying waste before disposal. and has been considered in various ECJ rulings. and mining waste. special waste.5 IMSS are required to produce waste management and implementation strategies. As a result more capital is being invested in larger. Sub-categories of waste include the following: municipal solid waste (including household.2 The general policy aim is to ensure recovery or disposal without pollution risk. sludge from waste water treatment. and was revised in 2006. A number of ‘daughter’ directives under the framework directive address the different waste streams and disposal methods: a) The Landfill Waste Directive (99/31/EC) aims to reduce the amount and toxicity of landfilled material through statutory targets for IMSS and their local authorities. incineration without energy recovery. 4. with implications for the planning system which permits such development. b) Various Waste Incineration Directives (especially 2000/76/EC) impose procedures. and landfilling (the least desirable option). garden and bulky waste). c) The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (94/62/EC) sets minimum standards for packaging materials and targets for recovery and recycling. f) The Hazardous Waste Directive (91/689/EEC) g) The Batteries Directive (91/157/EEC) h) The Waste Oil Directive (75/439/EEC) i) The End of Life Vehicles Directive (2000/53/EC) 4. The Waste Framework Directive (75/442/EEC as amended) predates the Water Framework Directive by 25 years.5.5 Waste 4. inspection and enforcement. IMSS facing challenging targets. d) The Sewage Sludge Directive (86/278/EEC) regulates the use of sewage sludge in agriculture (particularly heavy metals content) e) The Waste Electric & Electronic Equipment or WEEE Directive (2002/96/EC) requires separate collection and re-use of such waste.5.5. monitoring. change the balance of waste disposal methods (particularly from landfill towards recycling). hospital and clinical waste (a sub-set of special waste). commercial and institutional waste. ash and slag from combustion processes. A measure of its complexity and importance is that it has the longest section in the Handbook for Implementation of EU Environmental Legislation. a definition which aims to be as inclusive as possible.

the 1979 Bern Convention on Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. while the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) requires the establishment of a European ecological network of selected habitats and species (the Natura 2000 sites). The EC has proposed a new ‘thematic strategy which shifts the focus of waste policies from preventing pollution to a new approach that takes account of the whole life-cycle of products. The Birds Directive (79/409/EEC) requires the designation of Special Protection Areas.6 Waste management regulation continues to evolve.2 Another directive worth mentioning is the Endangered Species Regulation (338/97). with some south European IMSS designating as much as 25 percent of their national territory. Papers in Land Management: No. 4. and in stimulating an EU market for secondary (recycled) waste. 15 . Protection measures include financial compensation where land-owners have restrictions imposed upon their land management practices.6.6.5. Designation of Natura 2000 sites is nearing completion.1 Two directives comprise the cornerstones of EU nature protection policy. which seeks to implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 4. These directives implement various supporting international conventions: the 1971 Ramsar Convention on conservation of wetlands 1992. 4. and the 1992 Rio Convention on Biological Diversity.6 Nature protection 4.

2. 59 percent of them living in urban areas. and a population density of 79 per sq. Forests cover a third of the land area (a proportion which is increasing with the abandonment of agricultural land).5 million to western Balkan countries in 2005 included only 6 per cent on the Environment sector. It has a population of about two million.2 Macedonia country profile 5. 5. Kosovo. A Regional Environmental Reconstruction Programme (known as REReP) provides a framework for regional environmental actions. although the EC grant of EUR 34. with climatic variety and rich biodiversity. bounded by Albania.2 The terrain is mountainous. and aid to the region was channelled through the CARDS programme (since replaced by the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance). Bulgaria and Greece.2 All candidate countries have to ‘approximate’ their legal and administrative systems to the acquis communautaire. launched in 1999. Serbia. 5.1 The Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) is the EU policy framework for the Western Balkan countries. The EU’s DG-ENV helps candidate countries prepare to comply with EEL. and economic progress since independence has been slow.4 Low ‘absorption capacity’ and enforcement capacity are seen as major constraints for the western Balkan candidate countries. Framework legislation establishes administrative systems and fundamental rights and obligations. and much EU spending through CARDS has gone into institution-building. land-locked country (surface area 25. 5. Papers in Land Management: No. and currently focuses on four principal themes: institution building. 5. Each candidate country has a National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis (NPAA) to co- ordinate approximation activities. The main industries are manufacturing. and each has a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) to draw them closer to integration into the EU.1. Per-capita GDP in terms of purchasing power is about a quarter of the EU average. trade and agriculture.1.2.700 kilometres).1. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 5. followed by implementation and enforcement. with high unemployment (over 35 percent). and annual progress reports on approximation are issued for the respective countries.1.km. civil society. and textiles and steel the main export commodities. Candidate country case: Macedonia 5.1 FYROM is a small.1 EU accession processes 5.3 EU legislation and standards are broken down into over thirty chapters within the European Treaty. support to existing regional mechanisms. 5. all low by EU standards. which became independent from the former Yugoslav Republic in 1991. The Thessaloniki Summit of 2003 confirmed that all these countries and territories were potential candidates for EU membership. which are negotiated one by one. and reducing environmental health threats.4 above). Montenegro. and 16 . Croatia and FYROM were granted candidate country status in 2005. similar to the IMPEL network (see 3. BERCEN is an informal country- driven network. The forest is degraded in character (for example with die-back of oak trees).

3. Skopje). IPPC. The Aarhus Convention was transposed with the 2006 Law on Free Access to Public Information. among other measures. waste management. and recommended that enforcement needed to be strengthened.3 The country’s situation has implications for environmental protection. and a National Strategy. 5.1 A Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning was created in 1998. an Environmental Information System. The economy and government are severely constrained. climate change. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law climate change is increasing the frequency of forest fires (affecting 3000 ha of land annually).3 Legislative reform 5. 17 . which introduced EIA and IPPC. The government has also introduced various rulebooks and technical guidelines. and draft laws on GMOs and Noise. and the Department on European Integration has a working group on environment. Governmental capacity and public awareness in the environmental area are weak. and require a strong and well-equipped administration at both national and local levels of government. A basic legal framework exists with the 2004 Law on Environment. Also introduced as part of the approximation process are the Law on Ambient Air Quality. and environmental monitoring. air quality (particularly in the capital. The creation of a National Environmental Protection Agency has been recommended in order to strengthen and streamline environmental management. and a revised Law on Waters. The 2004 Law on Waste Management incorporated EEL principles. 5. Papers in Land Management: No. The visiting EC experts identified a significant lack of capacity in the areas of EA.2 The State Inspectorate for Environment is within the MEPP. especially allowing direct action by environmental inspectors without having to go through the courts. a Register of Natural Heritage. and some municipalities have prepared Local Environmental Action Plans (LEAPs).2. and progress with new national legislation has been good (with implementation less so).4. requiring the preparation of a national waste strategy and municipal waste management plans.3. 5. water treatment and waste management.2 The second National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP2) was adopted in 2006. The Law on Nature Protection creates a National Council for Nature Protection. The report concluded that full compliance with the environmental acquis would only be achieved in the long term. The EC gives technical support to FYROM for the approximation process.1 The 2005 Analytical Report by the EC (when FYROM achieved candidate country status for EU entry) made clear that compliance with the environmental acquis would require significant investment. such as pressure for economic development. 5. and environmental protection has to compete with other priorities. 5.4 Implementation 5. The main environmental problems were then summarized by the EC as surface water quality of rivers. ground water quality. and represents FYROM in the IMPEL and BERCEN networks.4.

18 . training for small medium enterprise in environmental management.4. 5. in the interests of strengthening local capacity. and the new Master’s programme in Environmental Management offered by SEEU (Tetovo).4. integrated management of the Prespa Lake (with co-operation between FYROM. The 2004 Law on Territorial Organisation of Local Self-Government reduced the number of municipalities from 124 to 84. Papers in Land Management: No.4. Albania and Greece). with assistance of foreign donor agencies. These include the clearing of illegal waste dumps. and better management of transboundary water resources. 5.3 The environmental acquis demands capacity-building at local as well as central government levels. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 5.5 Capacity-building activities include a national strategy for improving public awareness on environmental issues.4 Various concrete environmental improvement projects are being undertaken.

soil. 6.environmental integration may hinder economic performance. Conclusions 6.1 The scope of EEL continues to grow. 19 .2 These new initiatives come at a time when there is growing concern at the implementation gap in EEL. considers (perhaps understandably) that the net impact of environmental policies upon employment is slightly positive. Papers in Land Management: No. for example. and encourages the relocation of companies outside Europe to countries with lower production costs and less regulation (‘racing to the bottom’). 6. and the growing complexity of procedures. Some claim that EEL puts an excessive burden on industry. rather than negative. but eco-innovation can also bring economic and social benefits. and mining waste The new soil thematic strategy. 6. however. and forest fires).4 What is certain is that EEL will continue to be a crucial area of concern both for IMSS and candidate countries. construction activities) which prevent the soil from performing its natural functions and services crucial to humans and ecosystems. industrial accidents. which have to compete for scarce governmental resources at national and local level. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law 6. or at least neutral. salinisation. aims at combating a range of risks (such as soil erosion and degradation. Such. The EC. Recent initiatives and draft directives cover such matters as environmental crime. attracting inward investment and job creation.3 Industry is having to take more responsibility for managing environmental risks (eg risks of flooding. programmes and projects.

latest edition).eel. Papers in Land Management: No. see Bell & McGillivray. 2006). For EEL in the UK. European Environmental Law (London. English-language books on EEL include de Sadeleer. Environment is found at http://ec. including programmes and progress reports on individual candidate countries.europa. Hughes. Civil Liability for Environmental Damage (Kluwer. latest edition). On SD. 2002) and Wilde. Another important resource is the European environmental law web-site of the Asser Institute based at the Hague (Netherlands).europa. updated by country representatives. with options to access in the main European languages. The ECJ web-site (important for case law) is http://curia. and Lee. The Europeanisation of British Environmental Policy (Palgrave. Environmental Law (Blackstone. see Richardson and Wood (eds).eu/environment. 4 A Guide to European Environmental Law Note on further sources The internet offers the best access to up-to-date material in the fast-changing area of EEL. and Enlargement at http://ec.nl. 20 . which can be found at www.europa. with links to sources on the accession process. Environmental Law (Butterworth. Environmental Principles: From Political Slogans to Legal Rules (OUP. 2002).eu. Environmental Law for Sustainability: A Reader (Hart. It contains national country sites.eu/enlargement. with full-text versions of many national environmental laws. The main source is the well-organised EU web-site. 2002). 2006). Jordan.