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Infringement cases

Court case C-196/13 (infringement procedure 2003/2077 - illegal landfills in Italy):

 

28/04/2016: Environmental Impact Assessment: Commission refers POLAND to the Court of Justice of the EU over inadequate assessment of exploratory mining drillings

Read more (IP/16/1454)...

28/04/2016: Water: Commission refers GERMANY to the Court of Justice of the EU over water pollution caused by nitrates

Read more (IP/16/1453)...

10/12/2015: Commission refers POLAND to the Court of Justice of the EU over poor air quality

Read more (IP/15/6225)

10/12/2015: Waste management: Commission refers GREECE to the Court of Justice of the EU over illegal landfill

Read more (IP/15/6224)

19/11/2015: Commission proposes fines and refers GREECE back to the Court of Justice of the EU over persistent poor waste water treatment

Read more (IP/15/6009)

19/11/2015: Commission proposes a fine and refers ROMANIA to the Court of Justice of the EU over failure to transpose EU rules on sulphur

Read more (IP/15/6008)

24/09/2015: Commission refers MALTA to the Court of Justice of the EU over finch trapping

Read more (IP/15/5658)

16/07/2015: Commission refers Spain to Court over illegal landfills

Read more (IP/15/5354)

18/06/2015: Commission refers BELGIUM and BULGARIA to Court and gives Sweden a final warning over poor air quality  

Read more (IP/15/5197)

28/05/2015: Commission refers ROMANIA to Court over failure to transpose legislation on end-of-life vehicles

Read more (IP/15/5055)

28/05/2015: Commission refers GERMANY to Court for e-waste failings and proposes fines

Read more (IP/15/5054)

29/04/2015: Commission takes POLAND and SLOVENIA to Court for e-waste failings

Read more (IP/15/4875)

29/04/2015: Commission takes ROMANIA to Court over failure to amend packaging waste legislation

Read more (IP/15/4874)

29/04/2015: Commission takes FRANCE to Court over poor waste water treatment

Read more (IP/15/4873)

26/03/2015: Commission refers the United Kingdom to Court over poor waste water collection and treatment

Read more (IP/15/4672)

26/03/2015: Commission refers Slovenia to Court for failure to clean up highly flammable waste tyres

Read more (IP/15/4671)

26/03/2015: Commission takes the United Kingdom to Court over power plant emissions

Read more (IP/15/4670)

26/03/2015: Commission refers Germany to Court over coal power plant in Moorburg

Read more (IP/15/4669)

26/02/2015: Commission takes Slovenia back to Court for failure to issue industrial permit for a major cement factory and asks for fines

Read more (IP/2015/4492)

26/02/2015: Commission takes Greece to Court over poor waste water treatment presenting a risk to public health

Read more (IP/2015/4491)

26/11/2014: Commission takes Spain to Court over waste water treatment presenting a risk to public health

The European Commission is taking Spain to Court over a failure to ensure that waste water is properly treated.

26/11/2014: November infringements package: main decisions

In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law.

16/10/2014: Commission urges Malta to refrain from finch trapping

The European Commission is asking the Maltese government to reconsider its decision to resume traditional finch trapping. This practice is prohibited under EU legislation on the conservation of wild birds.

16/10/2014: European Commission urges Italy to address severe pollution issues at Europe's biggest steel plant

The European Commission is taking further steps against Italy in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of the ILVA steel plant in Taranto (hereafter "ILVA"), Europe's largest iron and steel works.

16/10/2014: Commission takes Romania to Court over toxic tailing pond

The European Commission is taking Romania to Court for a failure to comply with EU legislation on mining waste (i.e. waste resulting from the extraction, treatment and storage of mineral resources and the working of quarries).

16/10/2014: Commission takes Poland to Court over failings in end-of-life vehicles legislation

The European Commission is taking Poland to the EU Court of Justice for failing to properly implement EU legislation on end-of-life vehicles (ELV). The Commission has concerns about Poland's implementation of the collection and recycling system required.

16/10/2014: European Commission takes Portugal back to Court for inadequate waste water treatment, asks for fines

The European Commission is referring Portugal back to the European Court of Justice for poor implementation of the EU Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive. In 2009, the Court ruled that Portugal was failing in its obligation to collect, treat and dispose of...

16/10/2014: Commission takes the Netherlands to court over failure to protect animals used for scientific purposes, asks for fines 

The European Commission is referring the Netherlands to the European Court of Justice over its failure to enact EU legislation on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.

25/09/2014: European Commission asks Court to fine Greece for inadequate management of hazardous waste

The European Commission is referring Greece back to the European Court of Justice for poor treatment of hazardous waste. Five years after the first ruling, Greece is still failing to comply with EU standards.

Read more (IP/14/1037)

10/07/2014: Commission urges Italy to ensure that water intended for human consumption is healthy and clean

The European Commission is opening infringement proceedings against Italy for its failure to ensure that water intended for human consumption meets European standards. Water contamination from arsenic and fluoride is a long-standing problem in Italy, and for the Latium Region in particular.

Read more (IP/14/816)

10/07/2014: Commission takes Portugal to Court over waste water treatment

The European Commission is taking Portugal to Court for its failure to ensure that waste water from small agglomerations is properly treated. The lack of adequate collection and treatment systems, required by EU legislation for small agglomerations since 2005, poses risks to human health and to inland waters and the marine environment.

Read more (IP/14/815)

10/07/2014: Commission takes Spain to Court over non-compliant landfills and high-speed rail link

The European Commission is taking Spain to Court for two (unrelated) breaches of environment legislation. The first concerns poor waste management: despite earlier warnings from the Commission, numerous Spanish landfills are still operating in breach of EU landfill legislation. The second case contains a planned rail link between Seville and Almeria, for which no adequate environmental impact assessment was carried out.

Read more (IP/14/814)

16/04/2014: Commission takes Austria to Court over failure to protect water quality on Schwarze Sulm river

The European Commission is taking Austria to Court for its failure to ensure adequate protection for the Schwarze Sulm river in Steiermark. In the Commission's view, the construction of a proposed power plant would cause a serious deterioration in the quality of the river, which is one of the longest undisturbed rivers in the region. The Commission is of the view that the regional authority failed to respect the water quality requirements of the Water Framework Directive when it authorised the hydropower project in 2007. Indeed, the permit in question was revoked by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Environment in 2009, but Austria's constitutional court dismissed that revocation on purely formal grounds in 2012. The permit therefore came back into force and can no longer be challenged before a national court. This led the Commission to open infringement proceedings in 2013, on the grounds that the permit for the power plant is not in line with the requirements of the Water Framework Directive. As building work now appears to have begun on the project, the Commission is referring the case to the EU Court of Justice, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.

Read more (IP/14/448)

28/03/2014: Commission takes Greece to court over failure to protect iconic species

The European Commission is taking Greece to Court for a failure to provide adequate protection for endangered sea turtles. The case concerns developments in Kyparissia Bay in the Western Peloponnese, one of the most important nesting beaches for caretta caretta loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean, and an area protected under EU legislation. A high number of developments and construction activities are being tolerated and given permits in the area, and the developments are having a significant negative effect on the endangered turtles. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is referring the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/14/324)...

28/03/2014: March infringements package: main decisions

Read more (MEMO/14/241)...

20/02/2014: European Commission takes Estonia to Court over Access to environmental Information

The European Commission is taking Estonia to Court over shortcomings in its legislation on access to information regarding the environment. Under EU legislation, Member States have to ensure that citizens have easy access to information on the environment held by public authorities.

Read more (IP/14/158)...

20/02/2014: Commission takes Denmark to Court over water management problems

The European Commission is taking Denmark to Court for a failure to present plans for managing its river basins. These plans are essential to put the measures in place to achieve the objective of 'good status' for Danish waters by 2015 and...

Read more (IP/14/157)...

20/02/2014: Commission takes action against UK for persistent air pollution problems

The Commission has launched legal proceedings against the UK for its failure to cut excessive levels of nitrogen dioxide, a toxic gas. Nitrogen dioxide is the main pre-cursor for ground-level ozone causing major respiratory problems and leading to premature death.

Read more (IP/14/154)...

 

23/01/2014: European Commission takes Slovenia to Court for pollution problems from waste disposal

The European Commission is taking Slovenia to Court for its failure to comply with the requirements of EU waste legislation. The Commission's concerns relate to two illegal landfills containing hazardous waste, one near the centre of Celje, and another in nearby Bukovzlak. Landfills operating in breach of EU waste legislation can be a serious threat to human health and the environment. Slovenia had agreed to address the problem, but slow progress has led the Commission to call Slovenia before the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/14/51)...

23/01/2014: Commission takes Bulgaria to Court over illegal landfills

The European Commission is concerned that Bulgaria is failing to protect its citizens from the effects of bad waste management. Despite earlier warnings from the Commission, numerous Bulgarian landfills are still operating in breach of EU waste and landfill legislation, representing a serious risk for human health and the environment. In an effort to urge Bulgaria to speed up its actions in this area, the Commission is taking Bulgaria to the EU Court of Justice, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.

Read more (IP/14/47)...

23/01/2014: European Commission asks Court to impose financial penalties on Italy

The European Commission is referring Italy to the EU Court of Justice for its failure to include rules on animal testing into its domestic legislation. This is an issue on which there is considerable public concern, and Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes was to be enacted in national legislation by 10 November 2012. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the European Commission is asking the Court to impose penalty payments of EUR 150 787 per day.

Read more (IP/14/46)...

23/01/2014: January infringements package: main decisions

In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law. These decisions covering many sectors aim to ensure proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses.

Read more (MEMO/14/36)...

20/11/2013: European Commission takes Greece back to Court for waste water

The European Commission is referring Greece back to the European Court of Justice for poor treatment of urban waste water. The Court previously ruled in October 2007 that Greece was failing in its obligation to treat and dispose of urban waste water in an adequate manner, with 23 agglomerations across the country lacking the necessary collection and treatment systems. Six years after the Court's ruling, six agglomerations are still failing to comply with EU standards. The Commission is therefore asking the Court to impose fines, suggesting a lump sum of €11 514 081 and a daily penalty payment of €47 462 until the obligations are fulfilled.

Read more (IP/13/1102)...

20/11/2013: November infringements package

Read more (MEMO/13/1005)...

17/10/2013: European Commission takes Germany to Court over Access to Justice

The European Commission is taking Germany to Court over a loophole in its legislation on access to justice in environmental matters. Under EU legislation, Member States must ensure a legal review procedure for decisions taken in the context of the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive and the Industrial Emissions Directive. The Commission is concerned at apparent gaps in German legislation in this area, which may be restricting citizens' access to justice. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore taking Germany to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/13/967)...

17/10/2013: Commission takes Bulgaria to Court for failing to protect endangered species

The European Commission is taking Bulgaria to Court over its failure to protect unique habitats and important species. The case concerns the Kaliakra region, a migratory route and resting place for highly endangered species, where large numbers of wind turbines and other developments have been authorised without adequate assessments of their environmental effects. Although Bulgaria is committed to increasing the protection of rare species and habitats in the region, the reverse appears to be happening. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore taking Bulgaria to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/13/966)...

17/10/2013: October infringements package: main decisions

Read more (MEMO/13/907)...

20/06/2013: Commission takes Greece to Court over nitrate pollution

On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the European Commission is referring Greece to the EU Court of Justice for failing to take measures to guarantee that water pollution by nitrates is addressed effectively. Although the Nitrates Directive has been in force since 1991, Greece has still not designated a number of zones vulnerable to nitrates pollution, and it has yet to adopt measures to effectively combat nitrates pollution in these zones.

Read more (IP/13/576)...

20/06/2013: Italy referred back to Court over waste management in Campania, Commission asks for fines

On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the European Commission has decided to refer Italy back to the European Court of Justice for its long-running failure to manage waste adequately in the Campania region more than three years after a previous ruling. Under EU law, Member States must recover and dispose of waste in a manner that does not endanger human health and the environment.

Read more (IP/13/575)...

20/06/2013: June infringements package: main decisions

Read more (MEMO/13/583)...

0/05/2013: Commission takes Greece to Court over landfill in Peloponnese

The European Commission is concerned that Greece is failing to protect its citizens and the environment from the effects of badly treated waste in the Peloponnese region. Despite earlier warnings, the Kiato landfill is operating in breach of EU waste and landfill legislation and thus represents a serious risk for human health and the environment. In an effort to urge Greece to speed up its actions in this area, the Commission is taking Greece to the EU Court of Justice, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.

Read more (IP/13/483)...

30/05/2013: May infringements package: main decisions

Read more (MEMO/13/470)...

25/04/2013: April infringements package: main decisions

Read more (MEMO/13/375)...

21/03/2013: Commission takes Belgium to Court over untreated urban waste water

The European Commission is concerned that Belgium is failing to protect its citizens from the effects of untreated urban waste water. Despite earlier reminders from the Commission, a number of towns in Belgium are still failing to comply with European norms. Discharge of untreated urban waste water is a threat to human health and the environment. In an effort to urge Belgium to speed up its actions in this area, the Commission is therefore taking Belgium to the EU Court of Justice, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.

Read more (IP/13/251)...

21/03/2013: Commission takes Italy to Court over inadequate treatment of waste landfilled in Lazio

The European Commission is taking Italy to Court for failing to comply with the requirements of EU waste legislation. Due to a narrow interpretation by the Italian authorities of what constitutes sufficient treatment of waste, the Malagrotta landfill in Rome and other landfills in the Lazio region are being filled with waste that has not undergone the treatment required by EU legislation. Landfills operating in breach of EU waste legislation constitute a serious threat to human health and the environment. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is taking Italy to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/13/250)...

21/03/2013: March infringements package: main decisions

Read more (MEMO/13/261)...

21/02/2013: Commission refers Sweden back to Court over industrial permits, asks for fines

The European Commission is taking Sweden back to Court for its failure to license industrial installations that are operating without permits. Despite an earlier Court judgement on this matter, Sweden has still not licensed two major industrial installations. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore referring Sweden back to the European Court of Justice and, in line with established policy, suggesting a daily penalty payment of 14912 euros for each day after the second Court ruling until Sweden complies with the judgment and a lump sum calculated on the basis of 4893 euros per day for the period between the first judgment and the day of compliance or the day of the second Court ruling.

Read more (IP/13/145)...

21/02/2013: Commission takes Poland to Court over water legislation

The European Commission is referring Poland to the EU Court of Justice for failing to transpose European water legislation correctly. Polish water legislation has shortcomings in a number of areas, including the transposition of some definitions provided by the Directive and gaps in transposition of the Directive's Annexes. The Commission is particularly concerned about the absence of Annex II, which outlines the characterisation system for surface waters and groundwaters, and about omissions in the transposition of Annex III, which should provide specifications and reference points for river basin district analysis, reviews of the environmental impact of human activities on water, and the economic analysis of water use. The monitoring of water status is also a cause for concern. Despite a number of reminders no satisfactory reply has been forthcoming. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore calling Poland before the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/13/144)...

21/02/2013: Commission takes Greece back to Court over illegal landfills and asks for fines

The European Commission is taking Greece back to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement an earlier ruling on illegal landfills. In 2005, the Court ruled that Greece was not taking sufficient measures to close down and rehabilitate illegal landfills, of which there were several hundred operating across the country. Eight years later, in view of insufficient progress since the ruling, the Commission is referring the case back to Court and, in line with established policy, suggesting a daily penalty payment of 71193 euros for each day after the second Court ruling until Greece complies with the judgment and a lump sum calculated on the basis of 7786 euros per day for the period between the first judgment and the day of compliance or the day of the second Court ruling.

Read more (IP/13/143)...

24/01/2013: Commission takes Poland to Court over nitrates and water pollution

The European Commission is referring Poland to the EU Court of Justice for failing to guarantee that water pollution by nitrates is addressed effectively. Europe has strong legislation on pollution from nitrates, and although the requirements have been applicable in Poland since 2004, too little has been done. Poland has still has not designated a sufficient number of zones that are vulnerable to nitrates pollution, and measures to effectively combat nitrates pollution in these zones have not been adopted. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore taking Poland to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/13/48)...

24/01/2013: January infringements package: main decisions

Read more (MEMO/13/22)...

27/09/2012: Commission takes Sweden to Court over failure to comply with e-waste legislation

The European Commission is taking Sweden to the EU Court of Justice for failing to properly transpose EU legislation on electronic waste. The Commission has concerns about shortcomings in the Swedish transposition of the Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) into national legislation. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore referring the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/1024)...

27/09/2012: Commission takes Greece to Court over waste landfill and endangered turtles

The European Commission is taking Greece to Court over a landfill site in a protected area on the island of Zakynthos. The landfill is operating in breach of EU waste legislation and constitutes a serious threat to human health, the environment, and in particular, to nesting turtles. Greece needs to either close the landfill, or bring it into line with EU waste legislation. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is taking Greece to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/1023)...

21/06/2012: Commission urges Portugal to comply with EU law on waste water and water pollution

Portugal is failing to provide sufficient treatment for waste water produced in small urban agglomerations and is not complying with EU cleanliness standards for shellfish waters. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending reasoned opinions to ask Portugal to comply with EU law in both areas. If Portugal fails to do so within two months, the Commission may refer both cases to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/662)...

21/06/2012: Commission asks Malta to comply with European legislation on packaging waste

The European Commission is concerned that Malta has incorrectly implemented the definition of packaging and packaging waste in its national law, as required by EU waste legislation. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending Malta a reasoned opinion. If Malta fails to reply within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/661)...

21/06/2012: Commission asks Malta to comply with European legislation on industrial emissions

The European Commission is concerned that Malta is failing to protect its citizens from noxious air pollution from a major power plant. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion. If Malta fails to reply within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/660)...

21/06/2012: Commission closes Lazio case after adoption of waste management plans

The European Commission is closing a case against Italy after waste management plans have finally been adopted for the Lazio region. In 2007 the EU Court of Justice found Italy in breach of its obligations through its failure to adopt such plans, which are necessary to protect human health and the environment. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is closing the case. The adoption of the plan is a very important first step, but the Commission remains concerned about its implementation and is urging the Italian authorities to keep up their efforts to ensure proper waste management in the region.

Read more (IP/12/659)...

21/06/2012: Italy in Court over urban waste water treatment failings

The European Commission is taking Italy to court for its failure to ensure that waste water from agglomerations with more than 10,000 inhabitants that discharge into sensitive areas is properly treated. The lack of adequate collection and treatment systems, required by EU legislation since 1998, poses risks to human health and to inland waters and the marine environment. Despite good progress since a reasoned opinion on this matter in 2011, the significant shortcomings that remain have led the Commission, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, to refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/658)...

21/06/2012: Commission refers Ireland back to Court over incomplete environmental impact assessment laws

The European Commission is urging Ireland to bring its national legislation on assessing the effects of projects on the environment into line with EU rules. Despite considerable interaction with the Commission, legislation on environmental impact assessments in Ireland still contains shortcomings. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore referring Ireland back to the European Court of Justice and requesting that it impose a lump sum fine of over €1.800.000 and a daily penalty payment of over €19 000 for each day after the second Court ruling until the infringement ends.

Read more (IP/12/657)...

21/06/2012: Commission asks Hungary to comply with EU legislation on environmental impact assessments

The European Commission is urging Hungary to bring its national legislation on assessing the effects of projects on the environment in line with EU rules. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending a reasoned opinion. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/656)...

21/06/2012: Commission urges Cyprus and Lithuania to comply with EU waste legislation

Two Member States have not correctly interpreted or applied EU waste laws: Cyprus (for landfill) and Lithuania (for packaging waste), causing harm to human health and the environment, potentially creating barriers to trade and distorting competition. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is referring Cyprus to the European Court of Justice and sending Lithuania a reasoned opinion, requesting amendments to its national legislation. If Lithuania fails to reply within two months, the Commission may also refer their case to the Court.

Read more (IP/12/655)...

21/06/2012: Commission urges Bulgaria to comply with EU nature protection laws

The European Commission is concerned Bulgaria has not assessed the possible impact of wind turbines and other projects in protected areas of the Kaliakra region. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion to ask Bulgaria to comply with applicable EU laws. If Bulgaria fails to do so within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice. Should the case reach the Court, the Commission may ask for interim measures as well as the removal of offending projects.

Read more (IP/12/654)...

21/06/2012: Commission urges Austria to comply with EU law on water services

The European Commission is concerned Austria is not fully applying the principle of cost recovery for water services. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion to ask Austria to comply with EU law in this area. If Austria fails to do so within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/653)...

21/06/2012: Commission urges Austria to comply with EU law on nature conservation areas

The European Commission is concerned Austria is not carrying out required appropriate assessments of certain flood protection and other water-related projects to wildlife conservation areas. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion to ask Austria to comply with EU law in this area. If Austria fails to do so within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/652)...

31/05/2012: Commission urges Romania and Slovakia to comply with EU legislation on end-of-life vehicles

The European Commission is urging Romania and Slovakia to bring their national law on end-of-life vehicles into line with EU legislation. These Member States have failed to notify the Commission about the transposition of legislation updating a ban on hazardous metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium in materials and components of vehicles. These measures should have been in place since 31 December 2011. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending reasoned opinions and asking the countries to comply within two months. If they fail to do so, the Commission may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/540)...

31/05/2012: Hungary and Romania asked to ensure protection of their wildlife habitats

The Commission has asked Hungary and Romania to step up the protection of habitats. Both countries have permitted activities or developments in environmentally sensitive areas without performing the appropriate impact assessments beforehand. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion to Hungary and an additional reasoned opinion to Romania, asking them to correctly implement the relevant habitats protection legislation. If Hungary and Romania fail to comply within two months the Commission may refer their case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/539)...

31/05/2012: Commission urges Italy to ensure adequate pre-treatment of waste landfilled in Rome

The European Commission is asking Italy to comply with the requirements of EU landfill legislation in Rome. Due to a narrow interpretation of what constitutes sufficient pre-treatment of waste by the Italian authorities, the Malagrotta landfill in the Lazio region contains waste that has not undergone the required pre-treatment, and the Commission is concerned that this might also be the case for other landfills in Lazio. Landfills operating in breach of EU waste legislation constitute a serious threat to human health and the environment. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion and asking Italy to comply within two months. If it fails to do so the Commission may decide to refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/538)...

31/05/2012: Greece asked to comply with waste and waste water legislation

The Commission has asked Greece to improve its treatment of waste water and the functioning of a landfill facility. Twelve areas in Greece fail to treat their urban waste water to sufficient standards and a landfill site in Kiato is operating inadequately – this constitutes a serious threat to public health and the environment. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending two reasoned opinions to Greece, asking for the correct implementation of the relevant legislation. If Greece fails to reply within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/537)...

31/05/2012: Commission refers Germany to Court over incomplete cost recovery for water services

The European Commission is concerned Germany is not fully applying the principle of cost recovery for water services. Under the Water Framework Directive, Member States must price water in a way that provides an adequate incentive to use it efficiently. Whilst Germany is of the opinion that such cost recovery should apply only to the supply of drinking water and the disposal and treatment of wastewater, the Commission considers that Germany's exclusion of other relevant activities such as hydro-power from the definition of water services hinders the full and correct application of the Water Framework Directive. Therefore, upon the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has decided to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/536)...

31/05/2012: Commission acts to ensure that European legislation is fully and properly implemented

In its monthly package of infringement decisions (see MEX/12/0531 for a detailed list), the European Commission is pursuing legal action against Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law. These decisions covering many sectors aim at ensuring proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. The Commission has taken today 147 decisions, including 27 reasoned opinions and 11 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

Read more (MEMO/12/387)...

26/04/2012: Commission asks Court to impose financial penalties on four Member States, urges Belgium to comply with EU waste legislation

The European Commission is referring Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia to the EU Court of Justice for failing to meet the December 2010 deadline to transpose the EU's Waste Framework Directive into national law. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the European Commission is asking the Court to impose penalty payments on the four countries in question.

Read more (IP/12/422)...

26/04/2012: Commission asks Austria to comply with EU legislation on environmental impact assessments

The European Commission is urging Austria to bring its national legislation on environmental impact assessment into line with EU rules. The Commission is concerned that the potential environmental effects of a development to an Austrian ski-run were not assessed as required by EU law. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending Austria a reasoned opinion. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/421)...

22/03/2012: Environmental Crimes: Commission takes Cyprus to Court for failing to transpose EU rules

The European Commission is referring Cyprus to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to take measures to ensure that serious breaches of EU environmental law are considered criminal offences and punished. The deadline for transposing Directive 2008/99/EC on the protection of the environment through criminal law was 26 December 2010. However, Cyprus has still not adopted the measures necessary to implement the Directive in national law. In accordance with the Lisbon Treaty, the Commission will ask the Court to impose on Cyprus a daily penalty payment of € 5909.40 until the adoption of all the necessary national measures for a complete transposition.

Read more (IP/12/296)...

22/03/2012: Commission asks Slovakia to comply with EU legislation on strategic environmental impact assessments and packaging waste

The European Commission is sending Slovakia two reasoned opinions about its environmental legislation. The first concerns impact assessments, as the Commission is concerned that the potential environmental effects of the 2007-2010 road-building programme in Slovakia were not assessed as required by EU law. The second issue concerns a failure to transpose legislation on packaging and packaging waste. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending two reasoned opinions. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/295)...

22/03/2012: Commission asks Sweden to comply with EU legislation on strategic environmental impact assessments

The European Commission is urging Sweden to bring its national legislation on assessing the effects of plans and programmes on the environment into line with EU rules. The current legislation on strategic environmental assessments in Sweden still contains shortcomings. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending a reasoned opinion. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/294)...

22/03/2012: Commission urges Poland to ensure proper disposal of end-of-life vehicles

The European Commission is asking Poland to bring its national law into line with EU rules on proper disposal of end-of-life vehicles. The Commission is concerned about continued shortcomings and the slow pace of changes to Polish legislation. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion. Poland has two months to comply with the request. Failing this, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/293)...

22/03/2012: Commission asks Italy to transpose water legislation correctly

Italy is failing to comply with EU legislation on water protection. The shortcomings relate to various aspects of the integration of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) into national law. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion. If Italy fails to reply within two months, or its reply is deemed unsatisfactory, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/292)...

27/02/2012: Commission asks Poland to correctly transpose legislation concerning water monitoring

Poland has not yet complied with EU legislation on water protection, including monitoring of water quality. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending an additional reasoned opinion to ask Poland to correctly implement the EU's Water Framework Directive (WFD). This is the third time Poland has been reminded of the need to comply with EU water legislation and if Poland fails to reply within one month, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/172)...

27/02/2012: Malta asked to ensure bird protection

The Commission has asked Malta to improve the protection of birds that pass over its islands in the autumn. Since Malta joined the EU in 2004 it has allowed the autumn trapping of four species of birds protected by EU laws: the Turtle Dove, Quail, Golden Plover and Song Thrush. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion to ask Malta to correctly implement the relevant bird protection legislation. If Malta fails to reply within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/171)...

27/02/2012: Commission takes France to Court for failing to combat water pollution by nitrates

The European Commission is referring France to the EU Court of Justice for failing to take measures to guarantee that water pollution by nitrates is addressed effectively. Although the Nitrates Directive has been in force since 1991, France has still not designated a number of zones that are vulnerable to nitrates pollution, and it has yet to adopt measures to effectively combat nitrates pollution in these zones. The Commission is therefore taking France to the EU Court of Justice, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.

Read more (IP/12/170)...

26/01/2012: Commission urges Germany to comply with EU waste legislation

The European Commission is taking action against Germany for failing to meet the deadline for transposing the Waste Framework Directive into national law, which should have been in place since 12 December 2010. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending Germany a reasoned opinion. If Germany fails to adopt and communicate the necessary legislation within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice and ask for financial penalties.

Read more (IP/12/71)...

26/01/2012: Commission urges Poland to comply with nature protection rules

The European Commission is warning Poland over a breach of nature protection legislation. The case concerns a failure to assess the environmental impact of open-cast mining in a Natura 2000 conservation area at Goplo Lake in North Central Poland. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion and asking Poland to comply within two months. If it fails to do so, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/70)...

26/01/2012: Commission urges Italy to comply with extractive mining waste rules

The European Commission is asking Italy to bring its national legislation into line with European norms on extractive mining waste. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion and asking Italy to comply within two months. If it fails to do so, the Commission may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/69)...

26/01/2012: Commission asks Italy to strengthen laws on environmental liability

The Commission is concerned that Italy has incorrectly implemented EU legislation on environmental liability, leading to insufficient protection for Italian citizens. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending Italy an additional reasoned opinion to ask it to adjust its national legislation accordingly. If Italy fails to reply within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/68)...

26/01/2012: Commission asks France to comply with European packaging waste legislation

The European Commission is concerned that France has incorrectly implemented the definition of packaging and packaging waste in its national law, as required by EU waste legislation. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending France a reasoned opinion to ask it to amend its national legislation accordingly. If France fails to reply within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/67)...

26/01/2012: Commission urges Cyprus and Greece to clean up waste landfills

The European Commission is urging Greece and Cyprus to comply with the requirements of EU landfill legislation in Cyprus and on the Greek islands of Zakynthos and Corfu. Landfills operating in breach of EU waste legislation constitute a serious threat to human health and the environment. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending reasoned opinions and asking Greece and Cyprus to comply within two months. If they fail to do so the Commission may decide to refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/12/66)...

26/01/2012: Commission urges Belgium and Luxemburg to comply with EU water legislation

The European Commission is sending a reasoned opinion to Belgium and Luxemburg for their failure to transpose EU water legislation into national law. Neither Member State has notified the Commission about the transposition of Directive 2009/90/EC on technical specifications for chemical analysis and monitoring of water status, which should have been in place by 1 August 2011. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending reasoned opinions and asking Belgium and Luxemburg to comply within two months. If they fail to do so, the Commission may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice and ask for immediate financial penalties.

Read more (IP/12/65)...

24/11/2011: Commission urges Italy to comply with court rulings on nature protection

The European Commission is asking Italy to comply with three court rulings on a number of failures to provide adequate protection for wild birds. Wild birds are protected in Europe under the Birds Directive , and on three occasions (in 2008, and twice in 2010), the EU Court of Justice has found that Italian law falls short of EU standards in this area. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a letter of formal notice, asking Italy to make good the shortcomings.

Read more (IP/11/1435)...

24/11/2011: Commission takes Poland to Court over air quality and marine policy legislation and urges compliance with the Nitrates Directive

The European Commission is referring Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union and asking for financial penalties to be imposed for two failures to transpose EU legislation into national law. Despite earlier warnings, Poland has failed to notify the Commission about the transposition of legislation on the Ambient Air Quality Directive, which should have been in place since 11 June 2010, and about a strategy to protect its seas, which should have been in place since 15 July 2010. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is asking the Court to impose penalty payments. The penalty payments requested are 71,521€ per day for the Ambient Air Quality Directive, and 59,834€ per day in the case of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The penalties take into account the seriousness and duration of the infringements. They consist of daily penalty payments to be paid from the date of the judgment (assuming that there is no compliance by then) until transposition is completed.

Read more (IP/11/1434)...

24/11/2011: Commission asks Ireland to recover costs of all water services

The Commission is concerned that Ireland has incorrectly implemented the concept of water services as described in EU water legislation – leading to inappropriate water pricing. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending Ireland a reasoned opinion to ask it to adjust its national legislation accordingly. If Ireland fails to reply within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/1433)...

24/11/2011: EU law

Commission acts to ensure that European legislation is fully and properly implemented

Read more (MEMO/11/824)...

27/10/2011: Commission urges Hungary to comply with extractive mining waste rules

The European Commission is asking Hungary to bring its national legislation in line with European norms on extractive mining waste. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion and asking Hungary to comply within two months. If it fails to do so, the Commission may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/1289)...

27/10/2011: Commission urges Poland to comply with EU waste legislation

The European Commission is taking action against Poland in two cases concerning waste legislation. In the first case the Commission has identified several shortcomings in the transposition of EU legislation on the management of waste from extractive industries into Polish national legislation. In the second, the Commission has concerns about Poland's failure to adequately transpose the EU legislation on packaging waste. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending two reasoned opinions and asking Poland to comply within two months. If it fails to do so, the Commission may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/1275)...

27/10/2011: Commission takes Luxembourg back to court over waste water treatment and asks for a fine

The European Commission is referring Luxembourg back to the European Court of Justice for poor treatment of urban waste water. The Court previously ruled in November 2006 that Luxembourg was failing in its obligation to treat and dispose of urban waste water in an adequate manner. Nearly five years after the Court's ruling, four agglomerations in Luxembourg do not yet comply with EU legislation, including the capital. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is asking the Court to impose fines, suggesting a lump sum of 11 340 € and a daily penalty payment of 1 248 € until the obligations are fulfilled.

Read more (IP/11/1273)...

27/10/2011: Commission prompts Finland to comply with waste and environmental assessments legislation

The European Commission is taking action against Finland for concerns about the country's transposition of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive and its failure to meet the 2010 deadline to transpose the EU Waste Framework Directive into national law. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending two reasoned opinions and asking Finland to comply within two months. If Finland fails to do so, the Commission may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice and, in the non-communication waste case, ask for immediate financial penalties.

Read more (IP/11/1268)...

27/10/2011: Commission urges France and Greece to strengthen measures to combat water pollution by nitrates

The European Commission is urging France and Greece to take stronger measures to combat water pollution caused by nitrates. In France, the current legal framework and the nitrates action plans for zones vulnerable to nitrate pollution do not effectively guarantee that this pollution is addressed effectively, as required by EU law. Greece too has a number of failings in this area. In spite of the Directive being in force since 1991, both Member States have still not fully implemented it. The Member States have yet to designate all the zones which are vulnerable to nitrates pollution and adopt measures to effectively combat nitrates pollution in these zones. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion will be sent to France on both the designation and insufficient action grounds and a reasoned opinion on the action programme will be sent to Greece. The Member States have two months to comply. Failing this, the Commission may decide to refer their cases to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/1266)...

27/10/2011: Commission asks Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Sweden to recover costs of all water services

The Commission is concerned that Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Sweden have incorrectly implemented the concept of water services as described in EU water legislation – leading to inappropriate water pricing. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending the Member States a reasoned opinion to ask them to adjust their national legislation accordingly. If the countries fail to reply within two months, the Commission may refer the cases to the European Court of Justice.

 

27/10/2011: Environmental crimes: Commission requests 3 Member States to adopt EU anti-sea pollution rules

The European Commission has given Austria, Finland and the UK two months to transpose EU rules laying down criminal penalties against sea pollution and other environmental offences into national laws.

Read more (IP/11/1246)...

29/09/2011: Commission urges Spain to complete legislation for river basin management plans

The European Commission is taking action against Spain over shortcomings in its transposition of EU water legislation. As Spain already received a communication from the Commission on the matter and has failed to adopt the measures required to meet EU standards, the Commission is referring the case to the EU Court of Justice, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik.

Read more (IP/11/1105)...

29/09/2011: Commission continues to pursue Spain over incomplete execution of the Zoo Directive

The Commission is sending Spain a reminder about its obligation to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling on the situation of animals in zoos. In December 2010, the Court ruled that Spain was failing to license zoos properly in a number of regions. Nearly a year later, the Commission still has no proof that licensing is working properly, or that substandard zoos have been closed. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending Spain a Letter of Formal Notice. If Spain fails to respond appropriately, the Commission may return to the Court and ask for financial penalties.

Read more (IP/11/1104)...

29/09/2011: Commission prompts Belgium and Romania to comply with the EU Waste Framework Directive

The European Commission is taking action against Belgium and Romania as they did not meet the 2010 deadline to transpose the EU Waste framework legislation into national law. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending the Member States a Reasoned Opinion and asking them to comply within two months. If they fail to do so, the Commission may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice and ask for immediate financial penalties.

Read more (IP/11/1103)...

29/09/2011: Commission urges Italy to resolve Campania waste management situation

The Commission is urging Italy to find effective short and long-term waste management solutions for the Campania region. This region was subject to repetitive waste crises. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a letter of formal notice is being sent, reminding Italy of its obligations and of the need to comply with a 2010 ruling by the EU Court of Justice. If Italy fails to comply, the Commission may bring the case back to the Court and ask for fines.

Read more (IP/11/1102)...

29/09/2011: Commission asks Germany to apply cost recovery obligations to all water services

The European Commission is asking Germany to comply with EU water legislation. The Commission is concerned with Germany's interpretation of the key notion of water services, which could lead to inadequate cost recovery and water pricing under German law. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion. If Germany fails to reply within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/1101)...

16/06/2011: Environmental crimes: Commission asks 12 Member States to implement EU rules

The European Commission has given 13 Member States two months to transpose EU rules laying down criminal penalties against sea pollution and other environmental offences. Directive 2008/99/EC on criminal law measures to protect the environment should have been introduced in national law by 26 December 2010. However, 10 countries (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia) have so far failed to do so.

Read more (IP/11/739)...

16/06/2011: Commission urges Sweden to respect EU nature legislation and protect endangered wolves

Despite efforts done Sweden has not yet brought its policy for the protection of endangered wolves into line with EU rules on nature protection. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the European Commission has therefore decided to send a reasoned opinion requesting Sweden to amend its wolf policy. Sweden has two months to comply. If it fails to do so, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/732)...

16/06/2011: Commission asks Italy to comply with Court judgement on end-of-life vehicles

The European Commission is urging Italy to comply with a 2007 Court judgement relating to end of life vehicles. The Commission is concerned with continued shortcomings in the transposition of the legislation. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a complementary letter of formal notice asking Italy to adopt measures that fully comply with the legislation. Italy has two months to respond. If Italy fails to correctly transpose the Directive into national law, the Commission may decide to refer Italy back to Court and ask for financial penalties.

Read more (IP/11/731)...

16/06/2011: Commission urges Ireland to act swiftly to improve protection of peat bogs

The Commission is asking Ireland to take urgent action to improve the implementation of legislation that protects peat bog habitats. The Commission is concerned that peat extraction is ongoing in numerous protected Natura 2000 sites, despite letters sent out by the Irish authorities. Scientists have warned that up to 35% of certain priority habitats have been destroyed since the legislation was adopted, and that the annual rate of loss is between 1-4%. In addition, the Commission also has concerns over some 170 other protected bogs. Ireland was sent a letter of formal notice about this matter in January 2011. Although recent progress appears to have been made in relation to 32 sites, this needs to be reflected by changes on the ground. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion. The Commission's assessment of the progress on the ground will be crucial in determining the next steps in this procedure.

Read more (IP/11/730)...

16/06/2011: Commission takes Spain to Court over urban waste water and river basin plans

The European Commission is referring Spain to the EU Court of Justice for breaching two pieces of EU environment legislation. In the first case, Spain is failing to ensure that waste water from agglomerations with more than 10,000 inhabitants that discharge into sensitive areas is properly treated. The lack of adequate treatment systems, which should have been in place since 1998, poses risks to human health, to inland waters and the marine environment. Slow progress by Spain has led the Commission, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, to refer the case to the EU Court of Justice. In the second case, Spain has failed to submit its plans for managing river basins to the Commission. These plans, due to be adopted by 22 December 2009 at the latest, are essential for achieving the EU's objective of 'good status' for European waters by 2015. So far only one plan has been adopted in Spain, and the Commission is therefore taking Spain to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/729)...

16/06/2011: Commission asks Spain to improve drinking water in Alicante

The Commission is asking Spain to take action to improve the quality of drinking water in Las Filipinas, an area in San Miguel de Salinas, Alicante, Spain. The Commission is concerned that local residents have suffered from water that is not fit for human consumption for more than a decade. Despite petitions to the European Parliament in 2005 and 2006, and the acknowledgement by the Spanish authorities that the local drinking water was not adequate for human consumption, no tangible action has been taken to solve the problem. Spain was sent a letter of formal notice about the matter in 2009, and despite a number replies, no satisfactory action has been implemented. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending a reasoned opinion, giving Spain two months to comply. If Spain fails to fulfil its legal obligations, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/728)...

16/06/2011: Commission urges Greece to comply with Court ruling over missing industrial permits

The Commission is asking Greece to comply with a 2010 EU Court of Justice ruling on industrial installations that are operating with expired permits. Although Greece is taking action to remedy the situation, the Commission is concerned with the slow pace of progress. At least 21 industrial installations are still operating with permits that have not yet been reconsidered or updated. Under EU law, this should have been done by 30 October 2007.

Read more (IP/11/727)...

16/06/2011: Germany warned over failure to notify legislation on water quality standards and on a strategy to protect its seas

The Commission is asking Germany to comply with two pieces of EU environmental legislation. Despite earlier warnings, Germany has failed to inform the Commission about the transposition of legislation on water quality standards, which should have been in place by 13 July 2010, and about a strategy to protect its seas, which should have been in place by 15 July 2010.

Read more (IP/11/725)...

16/06/2011: Commission asks five Member States to comply with EU waste framework directive

The European Commission is asking five Member States to comply with the EU Waste Framework Directive. The Member States concerned are Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece and Poland. These Member States have failed to inform the Commission about the transposition of this legislation into national law, which should have happened by 12 December 2010. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion. The Member States have two months to comply. If they fail to do so, the Commission may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice and ask the Court to impose financial penalties, without having to return to the court for a second ruling.

Read more (IP/11/724).

19/05/2011: Commission urges Italy to comply with EU law on urban waste water

The European Commission is asking Italy to ensure proper treatment of waste water from agglomerations with more than 10,000 inhabitants discharged into sensitive areas. The lack of sufficient collection and treatment systems, which should have been in place since 1998, poses risks to human health and to inland waters and the marine environment. Slow progress by Italy has led the Commission, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, to send a reasoned opinion. If Italy fails to comply within two months, the Commission could refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/599)...

19/05/2011: Commission takes France to court over failure to comply with EU air quality rules

The European Commission is taking France to court for failing to comply with EU air quality limit values for airborne particles known as PM10. France has so far failed to effectively tackle excess emissions of these particles in several zones across the country. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has therefore decided to take France to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/596)...

19/05/2011: Commission asks six Member States to comply with EU waste framework directive

The European Commission is asking six Member States to notify the transposition of the EU Waste Framework Directive into national law due by December 2010. The Member States concerned are France, Hungary, Luxembourg, Latvia, Slovenia and Slovakia. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion. The Member States have two months to comply. If these Member States fail to comply with their legal obligation, the Commission may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice and ask the Court to impose financial sanctions already at this stage.

Read more (IP/11/595)...

19/05/2011: Commission urges Latvia to comply with EU law on mining waste

The European Commission is asking Latvia to adopt measures to ensure that extractive waste is treated in specific facilities in line with EU requirements. Despite earlier warnings, Latvia is still not complying with EU legislation on mining waste. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion. If Latvia fails to comply within two months, the Commission could refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/594)...

19/05/2011: Commission takes Ireland to Court over missing industrial permits

The Commission is referring Ireland to the EU Court of Justice over industrial installations operating with outdated permits. Under European law, new permits should have been issued by 30 October 2007. However the permits of at least 17 Irish livestock installations have not yet been reconsidered or updated. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore referring the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/593)...

19/05/2011: Commission takes Ireland back to court over septic tanks and asks for a fine

A year and a half after a previous Court ruling, Ireland has still not adopted the necessary measures to ensure that septic tanks go through adequate checks and inspections in order to protect human health and the environment. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore referring Ireland back to the EU Court of Justice and asking the Court to impose a lump-sum fine of €2.7 million and a daily penalty payment of € 26,173.

Read more (IP/11/592)...

19/05/2011: Commission takes Czech Republic to Court over failure to update biocides legislation

The European Commission is referring the Czech Republic to the EU Court of Justice over its failure to meet the European requirements on biocidal products. Despite earlier warnings the Czech Republic has not added acrolein, a substance used in certain biocidal products, to its national list of active substances that are covered by biocides legislation. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore referring the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/591)...

19/05/2011: EU law: Commission acts to ensure that European legislation is fully and properly implemented

In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against 27 Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law. These decisions cover many sectors. They aim at ensuring proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. The Commission has taken today 320 decisions, including 6 complaints taking Member States before the European Union's Court of Justice. In this package, 1 decision relates to failure to respect a previous Court ruling and might imply financial penalties.

Read more (MEMO/11/312)...

06/04/2011: Commission takes UK to court over excessive cost of challenging decisions

The European Commission is taking the UK to the EU Court of Justice over the high cost of challenges of decisions on the environment. Under EU law, the possibility of challenging decisions affecting the environment should be fair, equitable, timely and not prohibitively expensive. The Commission is concerned that the potentially high cost of losing legal actions is preventing NGOs and individuals in the UK from bringing cases in the first place. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore referring the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/439)...

06/04/2011: Commission takes four Member States to court for failing to submit river basin plans

The European Commission is taking Belgium, Denmark, Greece and Portugal to court over their failure to comply with EU water legislation and submit plans for managing their river basins. These plans are essential for achieving the EU's objective of 'good status' for European waters by 2015 and they should have been adopted by 22 December 2009 at the latest. Delayed plans could mean a failure to deliver the water quality required. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is referring the cases to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/438)...

06/04/2011: Commission urges Hungary to comply with European nature protection legislation

The European Commission has asked Hungary to address the inadequate protection of nature in an area that is home to globally threatened bird species. The Commission has concerns about an aerial power line erected in autumn 2007, which is liable to have a significant negative impact on protected species. No impact assessment was undertaken for the project, contravening EU legislation. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending Hungary a reasoned opinion. If Hungary fails to comply within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/437)...

06/04/2011: Commission asks France and Ireland to protect their seas

The Commission is asking France and Ireland to comply with EU legislation requiring Member States to draw up marine strategies to protect their seas. Neither Member State has informed the Commission about the transposition of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which should have been in place by 15 July 2010. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion. If France and Ireland fail to comply with their legal obligation, the Commission may refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice and may ask the Court to impose financial sanctions at this stage.

Read more (IP/11/436)...

06/04/2011: Commission takes Belgium to Court and warns Romania over failure to comply with EU air quality rules

The European Commission is taking Belgium to court for failing to comply with EU air quality limit values for airborne particles known as PM10. Belgium has so far failed to effectively tackle excess emissions of these particles in 8 zones across the country. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has therefore decided to take Belgium to the EU Court of Justice. As Romania is also not complying with the air quality limit values for PM10, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion under ongoing infringement proceedings. Romania has two months to comply. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/435)...

06/04/2011: Commission urges Belgium to comply with EU law on urban waste water

The European Commission is urging Belgium to ensure that waste water from small towns is properly treated. The lack of sufficient collection and treatment systems that should be in place since 2005 poses risks to human health and to the marine environment. Slow progress by Belgium has led the Commission, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, to send a reasoned opinion under ongoing infringement proceedings. If Belgium fails to comply within two months, the Commission could refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/434)...

06/04/2011: Commission takes Austria to Court over missing industrial permits

The Commission is referring Austria to the EU Court of Justice over outdated permits for their industrial installations. Under European legislation, new permits should have been issued by 30 October 2007. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore referring the case to the Court. Austria has two months to comply.

Read more (IP/11/433)...

06/04/2011: Commission urges Spain to comply with Court ruling on industrial permits

The Commission is urging Spain to comply with an EU Court of Justice ruling concerning permits for industrial installations. Despite Spain being condemned by the Court in November 2010, more than 100 plants continue to operate without updated permits that comply with EU rules designed to prevent industrial pollution. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending Spain a letter of formal notice requesting the full implementation of the judgement. In the absence of a satisfactory response, Spain could face a second court referral and financial penalties.

Read more (IP/11/432)...

06/04/2011: EU law: Commission acts to ensure that European legislation is fully and properly implemented

Infringement package: overview of press releases

Read more (MEMO/11/220)...

14/03/2011: Commission urges Italy to comply with EU environmental legislation

The European Commission is asking Italy to comply with EU rules to ensure that a rehabilitation project on a former chemicals site in the Liguria region does not pose risks to health or the environment. So far Italy has failed to satisfactorily address the issue. On the recommendation of EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending a reasoned opinion. Italy has two months to reply. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/307)...

14/03/2011: Commission asks Lithuania to comply with EU legislation on strategic environmental impact assessments

The European Commission is urging Lithuania to bring its national legislation on assessing the effects of plans and programmes on the environment into line with EU rules. The existing legislation on strategic environmental assessments in Lithuania contains a number of shortcomings. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending a reasoned opinion. Lithuania has two months to comply. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/306)...

14/03/2011: Commission takes France to Court for failing to implement rules on industrial pollution

On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the he European Commission is taking France to the European Court of Justice for failing to comply with EU rules on industrial emissions. Four years after the deadline, France is still failing to ensure that a number of industrial installations meet the requirements of a Directive designed to prevent industrial pollution.

Read more (IP/11/305)...

14/03/2011: Commission asks Czech Republic to update biocides legislation

The European Commission is asking the Czech Republic to update its chemicals legislation and authorise the use of two biocides. Under European legislation, the rodenticide Flocoumafen and the wood preservative Tolylfluanide should be included on Member States' lists of authorised substances. Despite an earlier warning from the Commission, the Czech Republic has not yet added these to its list of active substances which can be used in biocidal products, so on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion is being sent. In case the Czech Republic doesn't comply with its legal obligation within two months, the Commission may refer this Member State to the Court of Justice and may already ask the Court to impose financial sanctions at this stage, without having to return to the Court for a second ruling.

Read more (IP/11/304)...

14/03/2011: Cyprus warned over failures to notify marine protection legislation

The Commission is asking Cyprus to comply with EU legislation requiring Member States to draw up marine strategies to protect their seas. Cyprus has failed to inform the Commission about the transposition of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which should have been in place by 15 July 2010. At the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion. If Cyprus does not comply within two months, the Commission may refer it to the Court of Justice and may already ask the Court to impose financial sanctions at this stage, without having to return to the Court for a second ruling.

Read more (IP/11/303)...

11/03/2011: Commission grants UK additional time to comply with EU air quality standards in Greater London

The European Commission today granted the United Kingdom a temporary and conditional exemption in the Greater London Urban Area from the EU's air quality standards for airborne particles known as PM10. Under the 2008 EU Air Quality Directive Member States may, under strict conditions and for specific parts of the country, extend the time for meeting the PM10 standards until 11 June 2011. The Commission decision approves the time extension on the condition that the United Kingdom adapts its air quality plan for this zone. The Commission rejected a second request from the UK for additional time to comply with the legislation in Gibraltar on the grounds that it was no longer necessary, as compliance with the limit values has already been reached.

Read more (IP/11/285)...

16/02/2011: Commission takes Slovakia to Court for failing to comply with EU landfill legislation

The European Commission is taking Slovakia to the European Court of Justice for failing to comply with EU rules to ensure that landfills do not significantly damage the environment. The case concerns a site near Žilina. On the recommendation of EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore referring the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/177)...

16/02/2011: Commission asks Slovakia to comply with EU legislation on strategic environmental impact assessments

The European Commission is urging Slovakia to bring its national legislation on assessing the effects of plans and programmes on the environment in line with EU rules. The current legislation on strategic environmental assessments in Slovakia contains a number of shortcomings. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending a reasoned opinion. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/176)...

16/02/2011: Commission asks Poland to comply with EU water quality legislation

The Commission is asking Poland to comply with EU legislation on environmental quality standards for surface water. Poland has failed to inform the Commission about the full transposition of this legislation into national law. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion. Poland has two months to respond. In case Poland doesn't comply with its legal obligation, the Commission may refer this Member State to the Court of Justice and may already ask the Court to impose financial sanctions at this stage, without having to return to the Court for a second ruling.

Read more (IP/11/174)...

16/02/2011: Commission warns Poland over failures to protect its sea

The Commission is asking Poland to comply with EU legislation requiring Member States to draw up marine strategies to protect their seas. Poland has failed to inform the Commission about the transposition of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which should have been in place by 15 July 2010. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion. If Poland fails to inform the Commission within two months of the measures taken to transpose the relevant EU legislation, the Commission could refer the case to the European Court of Justice. In case Poland doesn't comply with its legal obligation, the Commission may refer this Member State to the Court of Justice and may already ask the Court to impose financial sanctions at this stage, without having to return to the Court for a second ruling.

Read more (IP/11/173)...

16/02/2011: Commission urges Poland and Belgium to implement air quality legislation

Both Poland and Belgium have failed to transpose into national law revised EU rules which aim to reduce pollution to levels that minimise the harmful effects on human health and the environment. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion is being sent to Poland, while Belgium is receiving a second reasoned opinion. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may refer the cases to the European Court of Justice. In case Poland and Belgium do not comply with their legal obligation, the Commission may refer these Member States to the Court of Justice and may already ask the Court to impose financial sanctions at this stage, without having to return to the Court for a second ruling.

Read more (IP/11/172)...

16/02/2011: Commission takes Poland to Court over failure to comply with EU nature protection law

On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the European Commission is taking Poland to the European Court of Justice for its failure to properly implement EU nature protection law. The Commission has concerns about several shortcomings in the transposition of EU law on the conservation of wild birds at national level.

Read more (IP/11/171)...

16/02/2011: Commission asks the Netherlands to comply with Court ruling on environmental impact assessments

The European Commission is urging the Netherlands to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling in a long-running case concerning the impact of certain projects on the environment. Despite a Court judgment on the case, which dates back to 2006, the Netherlands has failed to take satisfactory action. On the recommendation of EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending a letter of formal notice. If the Netherlands fails to comply, it could face a second Court referral and financial penalties.

Read more (IP/11/170)...

16/02/2011: Commission urges Latvia to comply with EU air quality rules

Latvia has so far failed to effectively tackle excessive emissions of tiny airborne particles known as PM10 which, in high concentrations, can be hazardous for humans. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion is therefore being sent. Latvia has two months to take appropriate action. Failure to do so could result in the Commission referring the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/169)...

16/02/2011: Commission seeks fines against Ireland for not adopting legislation to protect countryside heritage

The European Commission is taking Ireland back to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement an earlier ruling concerning developments that may harm the natural and man-made heritage of the countryside. Two years after the judgment, Ireland has still not adopted legislation to address the issue. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is referring the case back to Court and asking it to impose a lump-sum fine of more than €4000 per day for the period between the first Court ruling and the second Court ruling and a daily penalty payment of more than €33,000 per day for each day after the second Court ruling until the infringement ends.

Read more (IP/11/168)...

16/02/2011: Commission urges Greece to comply with Court ruling over lack of urban waste water treatment

The European Commission is urging Greece to take action to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling to ensure proper urban waste water treatment in nine towns and cities. The lack of treatment systems, which should have been in place in 2000, poses risks to the health of people living there. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a letter of formal notice under ongoing infringement proceedings. If Greece fails to comply, the Commission could refer the case back to the Court and ask for financial penalties.

Read more (IP/11/166)...

16/02/2011: Commission urges Austria and the Czech Republic to comply with rules on flood prevention

The European Commission is urging Austria and the Czech Republic to ensure EU environmental legislation is implemented at national level or face being taken to the European Court of Justice, with the possibility of fines. The cases concern legislation in the area of flood prevention. Both Member States have failed to inform the Commission of the transposition of the legislation despite earlier infringement proceedings. On the recommendation of EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending a second reasoned opinion. In case Austria and the Czech Republic do not comply with their legal obligation, the Commission may refer these Member States to the Court of Justice and may already ask the Court to impose financial sanctions at this stage, without having to return to the Court for a second ruling.

Read more (IP/11/163)...

16/02/2011: EU law: Commission acts to ensure that European legislation is fully and properly implemented

In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against 27 Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law. These decisions cover many sectors. They aim at ensuring proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. The Commission has taken today 176 decisions, including 7 complaints taking Member States before the European Union's Court of Justice. In this package, 1 decision relate to failure to respect a previous Court ruling and might imply financial penalties.

Read more (MEMO/11/86)...

27/01/2011: Commission urges Sweden to respect nature legislation in protecting endangered wolves

The European Commission is asking Sweden to respect EU nature legislation by adequately protecting its wolf population, which is threatened with extinction. The Commission is concerned about several aspects of Swedish wolf policy, and especially about the hunting of wolves when the species is not in favourable conservation status. Therefore, on proposal by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, it has decided to launch a formal infringement procedure by sending a Letter of Formal Notice.

Read more (IP/11/95)...

27/01/2011: Commission asks three Member States to comply with EU water quality legislation

The Commission is asking Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Estonia to comply with EU legislation on environmental quality standards for surface water. These Member States have failed to inform the Commission about the transposition of this legislation into national law. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion. The three Member States have two months to respond.

Read more (Read more (IP/11/94))...

27/01/2011: Commission urges Slovakia to ensure proper disposal of end-of-life vehicles

The European Commission is urging Slovakia to bring its national law in line with EU rules relating to vehicles that have reached the end of their lives. The Commission is concerned about continued shortcomings in Slovakia's transposition of the legislation. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion. Slovakia has two months to comply with the request. Failing this, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/93)...

27/01/2011: Commission urges Romania to comply with European nature protection legislation

The European Commission has asked Romania to address the inadequate nature protection in Sulina in the Danube Delta, one of Europe's most important wetland areas. The Commission has concerns about shortcomings in procedures to assess the potential impact of tourism development in the area, which is part of the Natura 2000 network. The Commission's request, on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures.. If the Romanian authorities fail to inform the Commission within two months of measures taken to ensure compliance with EU law in this respect, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/92)...

27/01/2011: Commission urges Spain to submit river basin management plans

The European Commission is urging Spain to comply with EU water legislation and submit plans for managing its river basins, which are essential for achieving the EU's objective of 'good status' for European waters by 2015. The plans should have been adopted by 22 December 2009 at the latest, and delayed plans could mean a failure to deliver the water quality required. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion is therefore being sent. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer Spain to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/91)...

27/01/2011: Estonia, Greece, Finland and Malta warned over failures to protect their seas

The Commission is asking Estonia, Greece, Finland and Malta to comply with EU legislation requiring them to draw up marine strategies to protect their seas. These countries have failed to inform the Commission about the transposition of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which should have been in place by 15 July 2010. The Commission's request, sent on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, takes the form of a reasoned opinion under the EU infringement procedures. If the countries concerned fail to inform the Commission within two months of the measures taken to transpose the relevant EU legislation, the Commission could refer the cases to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/90)...

27/01/2011: Commission takes Greece to Court for failing to protect Lake Koroneia

The European Commission is referring Greece to the European Court of Justice for its failure to protect Lake Koroneia, an internationally important wetland in the region of Thessaloniki. The lake has been seriously affected by pollution and illegal water extraction, with serious consequences for local fauna and flora. Although a comprehensive plan is in place to rehabilitate the lake, with many actions partly financed by EU funds, progress has been slow. At the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore referring the case to the Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/89)...

27/01/2011: Commission asks Czech Republic to comply with Court ruling on bathing water quality

The European Commission is urging the Czech Republic to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling on its failure to adopt adequate legislation on bathing water quality. On a proposal by Environment Commissioner Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending a letter of formal notice under ongoing infringement proceedings. If the Czech Republic fails to respond within two months, a second Court referral and financial penalties could follow.

Read more (IP/11/87)...

27/01/2011: Commission asks Czech Republic to update biocides legislation

The European Commission is asking the Czech Republic to update its chemicals legislation by adding acrolein to the list of active substances covered by their legislation in order to meet European requirements. Despite an earlier warning from the Commission, the Czech Republic has not yet added acrolein to its list of active substances which could possibly be used in biocidal products, so on the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion is being sent. The Czech Republic has two months to comply with the request. Failing this, the Commission may refer it to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/11/86)...

24/11/2010: EU set to revise law on hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment

The European Commission welcomes today's vote by the European Parliament to revise legislation on the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. The draft legislation, proposed by the Commission in 2008, will strengthen the existing law by streamlining procedures for future substance restrictions and by making it coherent with other chemicals legislation1. Today’s vote confirms the first reading agreement with the Council on the revised legislation.

Read more (IP/10/1596)

24/11/2010: Commission asks Czech Republic to comply with Court ruling on environmental impact assessments

The European Commission is urging the Czech Republic to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling on public involvement in environmental impact assessments. On a proposal by Commissioner Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending a letter of formal notice under ongoing infringement proceedings. If the Czech Republic fails to respond within two months, they could face a second Court referral and financial penalties.

Read more (IP/10/1587)

24/11/2010: Air Quality: Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain taken to Court over failure to comply with EU rules

The European Commission is urging Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain to comply with EU air quality limit values for airborne particles known as PM10. These Member States have so far failed to effectively tackle excess emissions of PM10. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has therefore decided to take Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain to Court.

Read more (IP/10/1586)

24/11/2010: Poland in Court over failure to comply with EU directive on nature protection

The European Commission is taking Poland to the European Court of Justice for its insufficient transposition of nature protection legislation. The Commission has particular concerns about the provisions in Poland's national legislation for derogations from the strict protection offered by the Habitats Directive. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the case is referred to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1584)

24/11/2010: Commission urges Italy to comply with Court judgement on waste water treatment

The European Commission is urging Italy to comply with a ruling by the European Court of Justice about waste water treatment. In November 2006, the Court ruled that Italy must take action to protect the River Olona basin in North Italy by treating all urban waste water entering the area. Four years after the ruling, Italy is still not complying with the requirement. Therefore, the Commission is sending a letter of formal notice on a recommendation by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik. Italy has two months to respond. A failure to act could lead to financial penalties.

Read more (IP/10/1583)

24/11/2010: Commission asks Ireland to comply with Court ruling on septic tanks

The European Commission is urging Ireland to comply with a 2009 European Court of Justice ruling on septic tanks. The Commission is concerned that a year after the Court ruling, no legal measures have been adopted to ensure that septic tanks are subject to adequate checks and inspections to protect human health and the environment. On a recommendation by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a letter of formal notice under ongoing infringement proceedings is therefore sent. If Ireland fails to act, the Commission could refer the case back to the Court and request financial penalties.

Read more (IP/10/1582)

24/11/2010: Commission closes case on access to justice against Ireland

Following action by the Irish authorities, the Commission, on a recommendation by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, is closing a non-communication case on absence of certain access to justice rules.

Read more (IP/10/1581)

24/11/2010: Commission asks Portugal to comply with Court ruling on industrial accidents

The European Commission is asking Portugal to comply with a ruling by the European Court of Justice on emergency planning for major industrial accidents. In September 2009, the Court found that Portugal was failing to implement the Seveso Directive, legislation that obliges Member States to draw up emergency plans to cover major accidents involving dangerous substances. More than a year after the Court ruling, the Commission has still not been notified about plans for 50 installations. At the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore issuing a Letter of Formal Notice under ongoing infringement proceedings. If the necessary actions are not taken by the Portuguese authorities, the Commission may decide to take Portugal back to Court to request financial penalties.

Read more (IP/10/1580)

24/11/2010: Industrial emissions: Commission urges Estonia and Ireland to comply with EU legislation

The European Commission is taking Estonia to the European Court of Justice for its incomplete transposition of a law designed to prevent industrial pollution. Ireland is also being urged to comply with the same piece of legislation, as a number of its agricultural installations still do not meet the requirements of the Directive. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is referring Estonia to the Court and sending Ireland a reasoned opinion. Both Member States have two months to respond.

Read more (IP/10/1579)

24/11/2010: Air quality: Commission urges nine Member States to implement revised legislation

The European Commission is urging nine Member States to comply with EU environmental legislation in the area of air quality. The Member States concerned are: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. These Member States have failed to communicate the transposition of this legislation at national level to the Commission. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion is therefore being sent. Failing this, the Commission may refer the cases to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1577)

24/11/2010: Commission urges Luxembourg to implement Court ruling on water pollution

The European Commission is urging Luxembourg to implement a Court ruling and comply with measures to combat water pollution caused by nitrates. Luxembourg was condemned by the European Court of Justice in June this year for its failure to adopt action plans for zones vulnerable to nitrate pollution, as required by EU law. Despite the judgement, Luxembourg still does not fully comply with the legislation and has not indicated how it intends to implement the ruling. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a letter of formal notice is therefore being sent. Luxembourg has two months to comply with the request. Failing this, the Commission may decide to refer the case back to the European Court of Justice and propose financial penalties.

Read more (IP/10/1574)

24/11/2010: Commission asks four Member States to implement EU chemicals legislation

The European Commission is asking Germany, Finland, Poland and Portugal to update their chemicals laws in line with recent changes in legislation agreed at EU level. These Member States did not communicate measures relating to the Directive on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures. Poland has also failed to inform the Commission about the transposition of legislation on biocides. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion is being sent by the Commission. The four Member States have two months to comply with the request. Failing this, the Commission may refer them to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1573)

24/11/2010: Commission asks Denmark to comply with EU water legislation

The European Commission is asking Denmark to address a number of issues of non-conformity between national and EU water legislation. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion is therefore being sent. Denmark has two months to comply with the request. Failing this, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1571)

24/11/2010: Poland faces Court over failure to notify flooding legislation

The Commission is referring Poland to the European Court of Justice for failing to comply with EU environmental legislation in the area of flood prevention. Poland has not notified the Commission that the legislation has been adopted, despite a reasoned opinion issued in July this year under ongoing infringement proceedings. The legislation should have been in place by November 2009. At the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has therefore decided to refer the case to the Court.

Read more (IP/10/1568)

24/11/2010: Estonia and Poland face Court for failing to put EU law on their statute books

The European Commission is referring Estonia and Poland to the European Court of Justice for failing to bring EU environmental legislation into force. These Member States have not yet adopted legislation on spatial data infrastructure at national level, despite reasoned opinions issued to both countries under ongoing infringement proceedings. The legislation was due by 15 May 2009. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has therefore decided to refer the cases to the Court.

Read more (IP/10/1566)

24/11/2010: Commission asks Belgium and Portugal to comply with EU legislation on strategic environmental assessments

The European Commission is urging Belgium and Portugal to adopt measures to implement EU legislation on assessing the effects of plans and programmes on the environment. The existing legislation on strategic environmental assessments in Belgium and Portugal contains a number of shortcomings. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore sending both countries a reasoned opinion. The Member States have two months to comply. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may refer the cases to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1564)

28/10/2010: France taken to Court and Luxembourg given warning over failure to notify flooding legislation

The Commission is asking France and Luxembourg to comply with EU environmental legislation in the area of flood prevention. Both Member States have failed to inform the Commission about the transposition of this legislation, which should have been in place by November 2009. At the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has decided to take France to Court over its failure to transpose the legislation and to send a reasoned opinion to Luxembourg to which it will have two months to respond.

Read more (IP/10/1423)

28/10/2010: Commission asks Spain to comply with Court ruling on industrial accidents

The European Commission is asking Spain to comply with a ruling by the European Court of Justice on emergency planning for major industrial accidents. In March of this year, the Court found that Spain was failing to implement the Seveso Directive, legislation that obliges Member States to draw up emergency plans to cover major accidents involving dangerous substances. The Commission is concerned that six months after the Court ruling, no such plans exist for 24 potentially dangerous industrial installations. At the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, it has therefore decided to issue a Letter of Formal Notice under ongoing infringement proceedings. If the necessary actions are not taken by the Spanish authorities, the Commission may decide to take Spain back to Court to request financial penalties.

Read more (IP/10/1421)

28/10/2010: Commission urges France and Hungary to comply with EU air quality rules

The European Commission is urging France and Hungary to comply with EU air quality standards. These Member States have so far failed to effectively tackle excess emissions of tiny airborne particles known as PM10. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion is therefore being sent. France and Hungary have two months to take appropriate action. Failure to do so could result in the Commission referring them to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1420)

28/10/2010: Commission urges Greece to comply with Court ruling on illegal landfills

The European Commission is urging Greece to implement a European Court of Justice ruling concerning illegal landfills. Despite being condemned by the Court in 2005 for not taking enough measures to close down and rehabilitate all existing illegal landfills, several hundred continue to operate across the country. At the recommendation of Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Environment, the Commission has decided to issue a complementary letter of formal notice under ongoing infringement proceedings. If the appropriate action is not taken by the Greek authorities, the Commission may decide to refer the case back to Court and request financial penalties.

Read more (IP/10/1417)

28/10/2010: Commission is taking Malta to Court for failing to implement EU laws to limit noise impacts

The European Commission is referring Malta to the European Court of Justice for failing to bring EU environmental legislation into force. Under EU law, strategic noise maps had to be drawn up by June 2007. Malta does not yet have ambient noise maps at a national level, despite several letters from the Commission issued under ongoing infringement proceedings. At the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is referring the case to the Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1416)

28/10/2010: Commission asks four Member States to implement EU chemicals legislation

The European Commission is asking France, Italy, Luxembourg and Slovenia to update their chemicals legislation to comply with the Directive on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures. These Member States have either not adopted all the measures necessary to implement this law at national level or have not yet officially informed the Commission that they are in place. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion is being sent by the Commission. The four Member States have two months to comply with the request. Failing this, the Commission may refer them to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1415)

28/10/2010: Commission urges Belgium to adopt measures to implement air quality legislation

The European Commission is urging Belgium to adopt the measures necessary to bring new EU air quality legislation into force across the whole country. To date the legislation has only been transposed in one of the three regions. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion is being sent by the Commission. Failing this, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1414)

28/10/2010: Commission urges seven Member States to submit river basin plans

The European Commission is urging seven Member States to comply with EU water legislation and submit their plans for managing Europe's river basins. The Member States concerned are Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia. The river basin management plans should have been adopted by 22 December 2009 at the latest. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, reasoned opinions are therefore being sent. In the absence of satisfactory responses from the Member States concerned within two months, the Commission may refer them to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1413)

28/10/2010: Commission takes Sweden to Court over missing industrial permits

The Commission is referring Sweden to the European Court of Justice over industrial installations that are operating with permits that are now out of date. The permits of at least 26 installations have not yet been reconsidered or updated. Under European law, the permits should have been issued by 30 October 2007. Permits are only issued if a number of environmental criteria are met. Although progress is being made, the Commission is concerned at its slow pace. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is therefore referring Sweden to the Court.

Read more (IP/10/1412)

28/10/2010: Commission asks Slovakia to comply with EU waste legislation on electrical and electronic equipment

The European Commission is urging Slovakia to adopt measures to implement EU standards on waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The existing Slovakian legislation contains a number of shortcomings, especially as regards facilities for collecting such waste. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is now sending a reasoned opinion. Slovakia has two months to comply. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1411)

28/10/2010: Commission requests Malta to comply with Court ruling on bird hunting

The European Commission is asking Malta to comply with a ruling by the European Court of Justice in the area of hunting birds. In 2009, the Court found that Malta, by permitting the spring hunting of turtle doves and quails in 2004-2007, had failed to implement the Birds Directive properly. The Commission is concerned that new framework legislation seeking to permit spring hunting in future years does not comply with the Court ruling. It has therefore decided, at the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, to issue a Letter of Formal Notice under ongoing infringement proceedings. If the necessary actions are not taken by the Maltese authorities, the Commission may decide to take Malta back to Court to request financial penalties.

Read more (IP/10/1409)

28/10/2010: Italy faces Court for failing to implement EU law on waste

The European Commission is referring Italy to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement a Court ruling from 2004 concerning landfills near Milan. The landfills in question are known to contain some hazardous waste, and are a threat to local water and air. Six years after the Court ruling, one landfill has been removed, but two others concerned by the ruling have not yet been cleaned up. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is taking Italy back to Court and asking for fines to be imposed.

Read more (IP/10/1402)

30/09/2010: Commission asks Belgium to comply with EU water legislation

The European Commission is sending a request to Belgium to address a significant number of issues of non-conformity between national and EU water legislation. Belgium has two months to comply with the reasoned opinion. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1263)

30/09/2010: Commission requests Austria and the Czech Republic to comply with rules on flood prevention

The European Commission requests Austria and the Czech Republic to comply with EU environmental legislation in the area of flood prevention and risk management. The Czech Republic has failed to inform the Commission about the implementation of this legislation, which was due by November 2009. Austria has sent partial information to the Commission, but there are still significant gaps. Both countries have two months to inform the Commission of measures taken to comply with the request for information. In the absence of a satisfactory response to the reasoned opinion, the Commission may refer them to the Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1264)

30/09/2010: Commission asks Spain to comply with EU water legislation against nitrate pollution

The European Commission is asking Spain to correctly apply EU legislation aimed at protecting water against nitrate pollution. Spain has two months to comply with the reasoned opinion, failing which the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1225)

30/09/2010: Commission asks Romania to comply with bird protection rules

The European Commission is asking Romania to ensure that its bird protection legislation is fully compliant with EU law. The Commission is concerned that the hunting periods designated under Romanian law coincide with periods of special protection. Romania has two months to comply with the reasoned opinion, failing which the Commission may refer Romania to the EU's Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1231)

30/09/2010: Commission requests Italy to comply with Court ruling on Waste Management Plans

The European Commission asks Italy to comply with a ruling by the European Court of Justice in the area of waste disposal. The Court ruled in 2007 that Waste Management Plans required under the Waste Framework Directive and the Hazardous Waste Directive had either not been adopted, or the existing plans were not compliant with the Directives, in certain Italian Regions and Provinces. The necessary plans were then adopted for Friuli Venezia Giulia, Puglia, Bolzano and Rimini. However, the existing planning framework in Lazio is not yet in line with EU legislation. The Commission has therefore decided to issue a Letter of Formal Notice under Article 260 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. If the necessary actions were not taken by Italian authorities, the Commission may decide take Italy back to Court and to request financial penalties.

Read more (IP/10/1232)

30/09/2010: Austria and Sweden face Court for failing to implement EU laws on spatial data

The European Commission is referring Austria and Sweden to the European Court of Justice for failing to bring EU environmental legislation into force. The two Member States have not yet adopted legislation on spatial data infrastructure at national level despite reasoned opinions issued to both countries under ongoing infringement proceedings.

Read more (IP/10/1241)

30/09/2010: Commission asks Italy to comply with rules on prevention of industrial accidents

The Commission is asking Italy to correctly apply the requirements of EU legislation on major industrial hazards. The case refers to the failure of authorities in the Province of Trieste to provide sufficient information to the public on safety measures and required behaviour in the event of an accident. Italy has two months to respond to the reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures, failing which the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1248)

30/09/2010: Commission asks Ireland to comply with court ruling on waste, welcomes closure of two other cases

The European Commission is asking Ireland to comply with a ruling by the EU's Court of Justice regarding waste disposal. While good progress has been made in some instances, more action is needed in areas such as construction waste and end-of-life vehicles. If the necessary actions were not taken, the Commission may take Ireland back to Court and request financial penalties. The Commission welcomed measures taken by Ireland to comply with a Court ruling on the protection of certain vulnerable areas and Natura 2000 sites, as well as environmental impact assessments, and has closed infringement cases on both topics.

Read more (IP/10/1257)

30/09/2010: Industrial emissions: Commission asks Greece to comply with EU legislation

The Commission is asking Greece to comply with the requirements of EU legislation on industrial emissions. This follows Greece's failure to regularly inform the Commission about the implementation of the Directive. Greece has two months to respond to the reasoned opinion, failing which the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1259)

30/09/2010: Chemicals: Commission asks three Member States to adopt measures to implement EU legislation

The European Commission is asking Belgium, the Czech Republic and Greece to implement EU law on chemicals at national level. These Member States did not communicate measures relating to the Directive on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures. The three Member States have two months to comply with the reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures. Failing this, the Commission may refer them to the European Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/1261)

14/07/2010: Commission requests Poland to comply with rules on flood prevention

The European Commission has decided to ask Poland to comply with EU environmental legislation in the area of flood prevention and risk management. Poland has failed to inform the Commission about the implementation of this legislation, which was due by November 2009. Poland has two months to inform the Commission of measures taken to comply with the request for information, which takes the form of a 'reasoned opinion' under EU infringement procedures. In the absence of a satisfactory response the Commission may refer Poland to the Court of Justice.

Read more (IP/10/940)

24/06/2010: EU law: Commission acts to ensure that European legislation is fully and properly implemented

In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against 27 Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law. These decisions cover many sectors. They aim at ensuring proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. The Commission has taken 330 decisions, including 45 complaints taking Member States before the EU's Court of Justice, and 4 decisions related to failure to respect a previous Court ruling.

Read more (IP/10/798)

24/06/2010: Commission welcomes Spanish compliance with bird protection rules; infringement procedure closed

The European Commission has welcomed appropriate action by the Spanish authorities in a case where Spain had been in breach of its obligations under EU nature protection rules, and has closed the infringement procedure. The case concerns a long running dispute with Spanish authorities over the designation of areas for the protection of birds, after numerous shortcomings identified by the Commission have finally been resolved. The EU's Court of Justice had ordered Spain to comply with the legislation in question, and a considerable expansion of protected areas means that the case can now be closed.

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24/06/2010: Commission requests Portugal to ensure coastal developments comply with habitat protection rules

The European Commission is requesting Portugal to ensure that coastal developments in sensitive natural areas are fully compliant with EU environmental protection law. The Commission is concerned that planning permission has been granted for two substantial developments in protected natural areas in the Alcácer/Grândola districts in the north of Alentejo, inside an area known as Comporta-Galé, part of Europe’s Natura 2000 network, despite projected negative effects. If the planned developments go ahead unchanged, sensitive protected areas could be lost forever. The case has important implications, as further more similar developments in the region are also under consideration. Portugal has two months to comply with the request, which takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures, failing which the Commission may refer Portugal to the EU's Court of Justice.

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24/06/2010: Commission brings four Member States to Court for failing to implement EU laws

The European Commission is taking four Member States (Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Greece) to the EU's Court of Justice for failing to transpose EU environmental legislation into their national laws. Belgium is being referred to Court concerning EU rules on end of life vehicles, Luxembourg concerning groundwater and drinking water legislation, Germany concerning EU rules on the access and use of spatial data related to the environment and Greece concerning landfill rules.

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24/06/2010: Commission requests ten Member States to comply with EU legislation

The Commission is requesting ten Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Portugal, Latvia, Finland, Poland, Malta and Slovakia) to comply with EU environmental legislation in five different areas, namely prevention of floods, electrical and electronic equipment waste, water policy, management of environmental noise and landfill waste sites. The cases fall into three different categories: non-communication – the failure to adopt EU legislation at national level; non-conformity between national legislation and the requirements of EU legislation; and bad application, failing to properly apply the requirements of EU legislation. Nine of the Member States now have two months to respond to the requests, which take the form of 'reasoned opinions' under EU infringement procedures. In the case of Malta, the deadline to respond is one month. In the absence of satisfactory responses from the Member States concerned, the Commission may refer them to the EU's Court of Justice.

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24/06/2010: Commission requests Belgium, Greece and Romania to implement EU air quality rules

The European Commission has decided to request Belgium, Greece and Romania to implement in full EU air quality legislation on particulates. The three Member States have so far failed to tackle excess emissions of tiny airborne particles known as PM10. The Member States have two months to comply with the requests, which take the form of reasoned opinions under EU infringement procedures, failing which the Commission may refer them to the EU's Court of Justice.

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24/06/2010: Waste water treatment: Commission seeks substantial fines for Belgium; sends fresh warning to Luxembourg

The European Commission is referring Belgium back to the EU's Court of Justice for its failure to bring the country's waste water treatment up to the standards required by EU law. The Commission has asked the Court to impose a lump-sum fine of more than €15 million and a daily penalty payment of nearly €62.000. Despite an earlier Court ruling in the long-running case, some 40 agglomerations still remain listed as not complying with EU legislation. The Commission is also sending Luxembourg a fresh warning that it will be taken to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for the second time with the possibility of fines over the same issue. Both Member States are still not complying with the 1991 Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, despite having been condemned by the EU's Court of Justice for this.

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03/06/2010: EU law: Commission acts to ensure that European legislation is fully and properly implemented

In its monthly decision package, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against several Member States for failing to comply with EU law. These decisions cover many sectors. They aim at ensuring proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. The Commission has taken 226 decisions, including 13 complaints taking 10 Member States before the European Court of Justice, and 3 decisions related to non-application of a Court's ruling.

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03/06/2010: Twelve Member States warned over missing river basin plans

The European Commission is sending a first warning to twelve Member States for failing to submit their plans for managing Europe's river basins, as required by EU water legislation. The Member States involved are: Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. The river basin plans are the cornerstone of the Water Framework Directive and essential for achieving the EU's objective of 'good status' for European waters by 2015. They should have been adopted by 22 December 2009 at the latest.

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03/06/2010: Six Member States face Court for failing to put EU laws on their statute books

The European Commission is taking six Member States to the European Court of Justice for failing to transpose EU environmental legislation into their national laws. Court action is being taken against Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece and Luxembourg, following two earlier warnings.

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03/06/2010: Air quality: Commission sends final warning to UK over levels of fine particle pollution

The European Commission is pursuing legal action against the UK for failing to comply with EU air quality standards for dangerous airborne particles known as PM10. These particles emitted mainly by industry, traffic and domestic heating, may have negative effects on health leading to asthma, cardiovascular problems, lung cancer and premature death. A second and final written warning has been sent to the UK for still exceeding the limit values for PM10 in a number of zones.

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03/06/2010: Commission asks Finland to protect its endangered native seals

The European Commission is sending a first formal notice to Finland on the lack of adequate protection of the Saimaa ringed seal, one of the world's most endangered seals. The Commission is concerned for the declining population of this endangered species. There is an urgent need to protect it. The Commission is working closely with the Finnish authorities in order to ensure the adequate protection and implementation of nature protection law.

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03/06/2010: Air quality: European Commission sends final warning to Italy over levels of fine particle pollution

The European Commission is pursuing legal action against Italy for failing to comply with EU air quality standards for dangerous airborne particles known as PM10. These particles, emitted mainly by industry, traffic and domestic heating, have been linked to asthma, cardiovascular problems, lung cancer and premature death. A second and final written warning has been sent to Italy for exceeding the limit values for PM10 in many zones or agglomerations across the country.

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05/05/2010: Final warning for Greece over lack of measures to protect important wetland

The European Commission is pursuing legal proceedings against Greece for failing to put in place adequate measures to protect one of Europe's most important wetlands. The case relates to the pollution and degradation of Lake Koroneia in the region of Thessaloniki. Greece is being sent a second and final written warning for failing to implement the necessary legal protection and conservation framework for the site.

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05/05/2010: Commission warns Hungary, Portugal and Romania over nature protection shortcomings

The European Commission is pursuing legal action against Hungary, and Portugal for breaching nature protection legislation. Hungary is receiving a second and final written warning about its failure to protect the Sajólád Wood in the east of the country, and for wider problems with the implementation of Natura 2000 in its national legislation. The Commission is also sending Portugal a final warning over an inadequate impact assessment for a tourist resort development in the south of the country. In a third case, the Commission is sending Romania a first written warning over bad application of EU nature law.

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05/05/2010: Commission sends final warning to Ireland for non-compliance with Court ruling

The European Commission is sending a final warning to Ireland for failing to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling asking it to amend its law on environmental impact assessments. If the necessary steps are not taken, the Commission could refer the case back to the Court and ask for fines to be imposed.

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05/05/2010: Waste water treatment: European Commission takes Italy and Spain to Court

The European Commission is taking Italy and Spain to the European Court of Justice over two long-running cases involving breaches of EU legislation on urban wastewater treatment. Many large towns and cities remain listed as not having waste water treatment up to EU standards, despite two earlier warnings.

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18/03/2010: Commission sends Romania final warning over environmental impact assessments

The European Commission is sending Romania a final warning about a breach of EU laws regarding environmental impact assessments. A major formaldehyde production plant was built in Romania in 2007 without a permit and before any impact assessment had been made. Romanian authorities initially ordered the demolition of the plant, but the order was subsequently rescinded by a local court. The Commission is not aware of any sanction being applied to the operator. A failure to act on this second warning could see Romania brought before the European Court of Justice.

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18/03/2010: Commission takes action against Sweden and Austria over missing industrial permits

The Commission is sending final warnings to Austria and Sweden about some 70 industrial installations that are either operating without permits or with permits that are now out of date. Fifty of these plants are in Sweden, and 21 in Austria. Under European law, the permits should have been issued by 30 October 2007. Permits are only issued if a number of environmental criteria are met.

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18/03/2010: Ireland: Commission sends final warning over four breaches of environmental law; closes two cases

The European Commission is sending a final warning to Ireland over four cases where it has failed to comply with European Court of Justice rulings concerning illegal development and developments that may harm the natural and man-made heritage of the countryside, access to the Irish courts and protection of marine mammals. If the necessary steps are not taken, the Commission could refer the cases back to the Court and ask for fines to be imposed. Following action by the Irish authorities, the Commission is also closing two long-standing cases on drinking water supplies and shell-fish growing areas, shelving earlier proposed fines for the latter.

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18/03/2010: Commission warns UK about unfair cost of challenging decisions

The European Commission is warning the UK about prohibitively expensive challenges to the legality of decisions on the environment. The Commission sent an initial warning to the UK government in 2007; failure to respond to this could result in a summons to the European Court.

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18/03/2010: Commission sends Spain final warning over industrial waste

The European Commission is sending Spain a final warning about a breach of EU laws governing the treatment and disposal of industrial waste. The case concerns the stockpiling of solid industrial waste in the Huelva estuary without the necessary waste management measures for the protection of the environment. The stockpiling has been going on for more than 40 years, and some 120 million tonnes of waste have now been dumped.

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18/03/2010: Fresh warning to Greece over nature protection shortcomings

The European Commission is again warning Greece about two failures to put into effect biodiversity legislation in a satisfactory manner. Greece has previously been taken to court for failing to designate a sufficient number of protected areas for birds, and for not providing adequate protection to the areas that have been designated. The court found numerous shortcomings, most of which have still not been tackled. Further failures to address these problems could mean another appearance in court and ultimately fines.

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18/03/2010: Air quality: Commission continues action over levels of fine particle pollution and sulphur dioxide in Member State

The European Commission is pursuing infringement proceedings against five Member States that failed to comply with the EU's air quality standards for dangerous airborne particles known as PM10. These particles, emitted mainly by industry, traffic and domestic heating, can cause asthma, cardiovascular problems, lung cancer and premature death. Slovenia and Sweden are being referred to the European Court of Justice, while final written warnings have been sent to Cyprus, Portugal and Spain. In a separate case, Bulgaria is receiving a final written warning over its failure to control concentration levels of sulphur dioxide.

Read more (IP/10/315)...