Hoewel de Commissie met een ambitieus voorstel over de toegang tot informatie over milieu, de particpatie van burgers en de toegang tot rechtsspraak in milieudossiers op de proppen kwam is daar na het wetgevend proces bitter weinig van overgebleven. Met name de opvolging van en toegang tot Europese milieurechtspraak is zo goed als onbestaande. Een gemiste kans, zoveel is zeker.
EU environment law
Weak compromise undermines the objectives of Aarhus Convention
Following the final agreement between the European Parliament and Council yesterday on EU rules for implementing the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters, Greens/EFA shadow rapporteur, Danish MEP Margrete Auken, said:
"This final agreement on implementing the Aarhus Convention leaves us little to celebrate. What was initially a fairly ambitious Commission proposal has been watered down to a rather meaningless piece of legislation. The end product no longer fulfils all objectives or obligations of the Arhus Convention.
A major shortcoming of the regulation is that it fails to provide for access to judicial review of EU-level decisions. Whereas decisions by national authorities can be challenged by members of the public or environmental organisations in courts regarding their conformity with environmental law, the same does not apply for Commission or comitology decisions at EU-level. Such double standards will not help improve citizen's trust in the European Union.
Parts of the final text are incoherent and almost surreal: in principle an over-riding public interest in disclosing information about emissions into the environment is recognised, however an exception is provided for 'investigations, in particular concerning possible infringements of Community law'. What does this mean in practice? Public has the right to know about pollution of the environment - except when EU law might be infringed?"