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Guide to the Approximation of European Union Environmental Legislation

Annex 4



This term means any legislative, regulatory or administrative binding measure taken by any competent authority of a Member State in order to incorporate into the national legal order the obligations, rights and duties enshrined in EU environmental directives. Transposition thus includes not merely the reproduction of the words of a directive in national law, but also any additional provisions, such as the amendment or repeal or conflicting national provisions, which are necessary in order o ensure that national law as a whole properly reflects the provisions of a directive.

Practical Application

Practical application is defined as the incorporation of EU law by the competent authorities into individual decisions, for instance when issuing a permit or devising executing a plan or programme. EU legislation is directly applied by national authorities in case of regulations and directly applicable provisions of directives. However, once a directive is correctly transposed, it is applied through the national transposing measures. It also includes providing the infrastructure and provisions needed in order to enable competent authorities to perform their obligations under EU law and to take the appropriate decisions.


Enforcement is defined broadly as all approaches of the competent authorities to encourage or compel others to comply with existing legislation (e.g. monitoring, on-the-spot controls, sanctions and compulsory corrective measures) in order to improve the performance of environmental policy with the final goal of improving the overall quality of the environment.