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European Commission answers positively on submission made by WECF

Reply to comments on the draft European Union Implementation Report of the Arhus Convention

04.04.2011 |




WECF got a reply to comments made on the implementation report regarding the Aarhus Convention the European Commission as a party to the Aarhus Convention has to present for the 4th Meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention to be held from 29 June to 1 July 2011 in Chisinau.

REPLY FROM THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO WECF


Below you will find the letter written by WECF:

Submission by Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF)

Registration ID: 06010171995-65


To the IMPLEMENTATION REPORT ON THE AARHUS CONVENTION SUBMITTED BY THE EUROPEAN UNION

All three pillars of the Aarhus Convention lack partly implementation by the European Union. In particular, the third pillar “access to justice” still lacks implementation.

In 2003, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on access to justice in environmental matters (Com (2003) 624 final). Member states argued that subsidiarity should be applied and that no Directive is necessary.

However, WECF believes that the EU as a party to the Aarhus Convention is obliged to ensure that access to justice in environmental matters is granted in all EU member states in a uniform manner. The situation of citizens being able to go to court over environmental violations varies a lot in different countries and often the procedural rules do not comply with Aarhus standards. Therefore, a common framework of procedural provisions is needed. In particular in France, Germany, Poland and Romania, the situation would improve with the adoption of a Directive on access to justice in environmental matters.

WECF therefore calls for the adoption of a Directive on access to justice in environmental matters by the Parliament and the Council.

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