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The Aarhus Convention

Relevant EU on-line resources and activities

Access to Justice

  • The European Ombudsman: any citizen or resident of the EU (or a business, association or other body with a registered office in the Union) can make a complaint to the European Ombudsman. He investigates complaints about maladministration by institutions and bodies of the European Union.
  • Cooperation with judges programme

    • General framework for Judicial training 

    In 2006, the European Commission presented a Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on judicial training in the European Union.
    2008 saw the adoption of a Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council on the training of judges, prosecutors and judicial staff in the European Union.
    In 2009, the European Parliament published a study on strengthening judicial
    training in the European Union, which is available through the link below.
    The entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009 provides a legal basis for European judicial training activities. Articles 81 and 82 list "support for the training of the judiciary and judicial staff" as one of the measures required to strengthen judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, and in criminal matters.
    In December 2009, the Council adopted the Stockholm Programme, focusing on issues of European judicial training for all legal professionals.

    • Cooperation with national magistrates in environmental matters
  • Recognising the need to reinforce the co-operation with the national judges, Environment Directorate-General launched in 2008 a special programme for this purpose. Click here for details.

  • E-Justice portal
    On 30 May 2008, the Commission published a communication to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee entitled "Towards a European e-Justice strategy (COM(2008)329). The JHA Council of November 2008 subsequently adopted a "European e-Justice Action Plan". The portal is conceived as a "one-stop (electronic) shop" for information on European justice and access to European judicial procedures.  The European e-Justice portal is to provide, in a consolidated system, a single entry point for all justice relating to questions and online procedures on criminal, civil or administrative law. It is targeted at disparate groups of users such as citizens, lawyers, judges, national authorities and businesses.
    Information on environmental access to justice in different Member States should gradually be included.