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The Aarhus Convention

Inventory of EU Member States' measures on access to justice in environmental matters

In order to obtain a comprehensive overview of the different measures adopted or in place in the Member States to implement Article 9(3) of the Aarhus Convention and related provisions, the Commission contracted a consultant to prepare a study focusing on the measures allowing members of the public to contest actions or omissions by public authorities.

The objective of the study was more precisely to “produce an inventory of national measures implementing Article 9(3) of the Aarhus Convention and related provisions (Articles 2, 3 and 9(4)-(5)) and to assess for the [then] 25 Member States the current situation and recent developments regarding legal measures to implement the requirements of Article 9(3) of the Aarhus Convention”.

The findings of the study can be found here (zip file ~6,5Mb) in 25 country reports (all Member States except Bulgaria and Romania, which had not yet joined the Community when the study was initiated) and a summary report. (More information on the methodology followed by the consultant can be found in Section 1.2 of the summary report.) The analysis provided in the country reports is based on legislation and case-law available in July 2007.

The Member States concerned have been invited to make their comments known on the study.

It is to be noted that, as mentioned in the reports, "[t]he views expressed [in the report] are those of the consultants alone and do not represent the official views of the European Commission."

Any comments on the findings of the study should be sent to the following functional mailbox: "ENV AARHUS". In the interest of transparency, the Commission may decide to make any such comments publicly available on this page unless the persons concerned have expressly requested that their comments be not publicised. Please note that member of the public may in any case request access to any comments made pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (1).

The Commission considers organising a conference to discuss the findings of the study early 2008. More information on this event will be posted on this website when available.

The Commission will consider the outcome of the above-mentioned debate when determining what the most appropriate course of action it should elect in this area.

(1) OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43.