EEL Newsservice 2007/13, 4 July 2007Added to Case Law
Case T-182/06 Commission vs. the Netherlands
At the moment, Euro 4 norms laid down in Directive 98/69 allow for small particles emissions of up to 25mg/km from passenger cars and small commercial vehicles with diesel engines. The sale of cars that meet the Euro 4 norms cannot be prohibited by member states ex Art. 2(1) of Directive 98/69. The Netherlands asked permission to introduce stricter norms, aimed at limiting emissions to 5mg/km as of 1 January 2007 by means of an obligatory particle filter. The Commission rejected the Dutch request, made under Art. 95(5) EC Treaty. This judgment confirms the Commission’s decision. While accepting that the emissions of particulate matter produced by diesel vehicles is acute and leads to not meeting quality norms laid down in Directive 1999/30, adoption of national measures that disrupt the functioning of the internal market is only allowed if the environmental problem is specific to the notifying state. The Dutch ambient air quality problems are not significantly different than those in other regions in the EU, according to the Court.
On 1 September 2009 filters will become obligatory throughout the EU because of the new Euro 5 norms adopted on 20 June 2007 in the form of EC Regulation No. 715/2007 that limit emissions to 5mg/km as of 1 September 2009. Meanwhile, 60 percent of diesel cars sold in The Netherlands already are equipped with a filter, no doubt as a result of a subsidy of 600 Euro that buyers receive in this case.
Case C-358/05 Commission vs. Kingdom of Spain
On 21 June 2007, the ECJ ruled that Spain had failed to transpose Directive 2003/54/EC on time. This Directive on the internal electricity market stipulates that electricity suppliers must inform consumers on the source and environmental impact of the production of the electricity (only available in French).
Case C-259/05 Omni Metal Service
On 21 June 2007, the Court (First Chamber) clarified Regulation No. 259/93 on shipment waste. Thereby, the court issued a preliminary ruling under article 234 EC answering questions posed by a Dutch court. The ECJ stressed that waste exported to third countries for recovery must be notified to national authorities if it does not feature on official waste lists, even when its components are listed separately and do not need notification.
Added to Policy Areas, Waste
* Council decides on the Waste Framework Directive
On 28 June 2007, the Environment Council reached an agreement on the revision of the Waste Framework Directive (2006/12/EC adopted on 5 April 2006 as a replacement of the often amended Directive 75/442 on waste). Contrary to the present situation under the ECJ rulings in cases C-458/00 (Commission vs. Luxembourg) and C-228/00 (Commission vs. Germany), efficient waste incineration may now be reclassified as recovery operations. The ministers also confirmed their ambitions for a five stage waste hierarchy and found a solution for the disagreements on imports and exports of waste bound for recovery. The Council agreement received a lot of critique from environmental NGOs, but was supported by industry.
Added to Policy Areas, Climate Change
* Green paper on climate change
On 29 June 2007, the Commission published a green paper on options for EU action to adapt to climate change in Europe. The main point of this paper is that Europe faces a great challenge, because greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced drastically, and in the meantime measures must be taken to combat adverse impacts of climate change. The paper argues that all actors should be involved and therefore it recognises four priority actions: early action strategy development, global action, research and information gathering and setting up a European advisory group.
Added to Policy Areas, Dangerous Substances
* Proposal to align chemical labelling to UN standards
On 25 June 2007, the European Commission proposed aligning the EU system of classification labelling and packaging to the standards laid down in the UN’s Globally Harmonised System (GHS). The Commission proposes replacing Directive 67/548/EEC (on labelling packaging and classification of substances) and 1999/45/EC (on preparations) by a new Regulation, which should contribute to the protection of human health and the environment from the effect of dangerous chemicals.
* EP vote on mercury ban proposal
On 20 June 2007, the European Parliament voted for a Regulation on the banning of exports and the safe storage of metallic mercury (European Commission proposal COM(2006)0636). In this vote MEPs supported the idea of bringing forward the date of banning EU mercury exports. Additionally they opted for stricter regulations the laid down in the Commission proposal on the storage of mercury, and ask for a ban on mercury ore, mercury compounds and metallic mercury imports as of July 2010.
Added to Dossiers/papers
* The following dossier has had a general update: Francovich follow-up dossier.
Updates include: fifteen new ECJ/CFI cases, various new judgments by national courts from the UK, France, the Netherlands etc., and pending cases updates.
Added to Dossiers/Papers, Presidencies
* Portuguese Presidency kicks off
During the Portuguese Presidency an integrated approach will be made to climate and energy policies with the aim of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing our energy security, developing and implementing renewable energy, the use of biofuels, and bringing air transport into the European scheme of emissions trading. Climate change, water scarcity and drought, business & biodiversity, territorial planning and regional development are the priorities which have been set for this Presidency.
Since 1998, EEB sets out benchmark tests for the Council Presidencies. On 2 July 2007, the EEB has set out ten benchmark tests for the Portuguese presidency. This will be followed by an end-of-term performance report. The ten tests form part of an EEB memorandum directed at the Portuguese presidency.
Added to Who’s Who
* Our new national editor for the Serbian page: Dragana Petrović
* The following national pages have been updated: France, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Spain & United Kingdom
Notably the following recent information was introduced:
Added to National Pages, France
* France to court for nitrate pollution
On 28 June 2007, the Commission initiated an infringement procedure against France for nitrate pollution of surface water. In March 2007, France had received its final warning for non-compliance with a 2001 ECJ ruling. In 2001, the ECJ ruled that France had failed to fulfill its obligations to protect surface water intended for the abstraction of drinking water from pollution. The Commission demands a lump-sum fine of over €28 million and a daily penalty payment of €117 882. If the Commission wins, France would be the first member state convicted twice under Art. 228 of the EC treaty (the first time was in case C-304/02).
Added to National Pages, Netherlands
* Environment minister optimistic over energy saving report (information in Dutch)
On 25 June 2007, the Dutch minister of environment, Jacqueline Cramer, received a report on energy saving plans. This report is titled "Meer voor Minder" (more for less) and was put together by three market parties in the energy sector. The report states that by taking energy saving measures in existing buildings, it is possible to reduce the energy usage of more than half the building by more than 30 percent, within the upcoming twelve years.
Added to National Pages, Norway
* White paper on climate change
On 22 June 2007, the Norwegian government published a new white paper aiming at curbing climate change. This paper proposes concrete measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and suggests that the country should adopt an ambitious climate change programme. Norway aims to be carbon neutral by 2050 and plans to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2020, in comparison to 1990. Thereby, the priority lies with research and technological development.
Added to Events
* Environmental Protection and Renewable Energy Exposition
This two day exhibition will cover: Green Building, Energy Conservation, Renewable Energy, Clean transportation, Green procurement, Water supplies and conservation, Industrial Best Practices, Biobased products & technology and Recycled products & technology.
Location: International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Kunming, China
Date: 6-8 December 2007
* UACES study group
Study group on The EU and Sustainable Development: Defining Sustainable Development within the EU. Open to all researchers in this field.
Location: Beechgrove House, Leeds, UK
Date: 12 July 2007
Added to Job Postings
* EEL website
We are looking for a trainee who would contribute to improving the EEL website and collect information for this EEL News Service over the coming months. Excellent knowledge of English language is a must. If you are interested, please contact us for more information.
* Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)
IEEP is looking for a senior policy analyst in agriculture, rural development and environmental policy.
The vacancy is for joining a five person Agriculture and Rural Development policy team, managing and contributing to a variety of projects and advisory work in this field.
Location: London, UK (with a possibility to work in Brussels)
Deadline: 6 July 2007
* ICLEI – Local Government for Sustainability
ICLEI is looking for an intern on climate and air. The internship will start on the 20th of August and will last for six months. The intern will work in a team that develops and implements various projects to support local governments in their activities to protect the climate and preserve air quality.
Location: Freiburg, Germany
Deadline: n.a. (the ad was placed on 20 June 2007)
* Greenpeace – European Unit
Greenpeace has a vacancy for an EU energy policy campaigner in energy subsidies and Central & Eastern Europe. The campaigner will look for renewable energy options and to support the Greenpeace campaign.
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Deadline: 5 July 2007
* Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES)
IES is offering a scientific research position contributing to the European Flood Alert System. The candidate must be familiar with different aspects of flood forecasting research starting from the analysis of input data, hydrological model, and sound statistical analysis of the output data.
Location: Ispra, Italy
Deadline: 9 July 2007 (first cut off)
Wybe Th. Douma (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Jens Hamer (ERA)
Leonardo Massai (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Sara Woods (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)
Marco van der Harst (T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague)