Environmental law

Environmental law

The EU has a range of measures to improve the quality of the environment for European citizens and safeguard their quality of life. One of the Commission's tasks is to ensure that environmental legislation is implemented correctly.


Latest articles

Common European rules on environment matter in our daily lives – whether they improve air quality, ensure safe drinking water or take care that waste is managed properly. When they are not observed, this can cause considerable economic costs and harm human health and the environment. A...



The 2017 edition of Our Ocean, hosted by the EU in Malta, generated an unprecedented level of ambition. As the waves die down, what, precisely, was achieved?


Environmental taxes can contribute to a healthier planet and healthier people, and encourage more responsible environmental behaviour among citizens. They also spur jobs and growth....


The European Union has some of the most advanced laws to protect the environment in the world. But what happens when they are not applied properly? The European Commission has acted to ensure citizens...


The Environmental Implementation Review (EIR), a new tool from the European Commission, aims to help EU Member States achieve the benefits of fully applying existing environmental standards in areas such as waste management, nature and biodiversity, air quality, and water quality and...


According to a comprehensive Commission evaluation, bird populations, other protected species and natural habitats in Europe would be much worse off without protection from the Birds and Habitats Directives. While the Directives are fit for purpose, their implementation needs to be better and...


The European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), a voluntary environmental management instrument, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. What’s the key to its longevity?


On 1 July 2013, Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union. As a result, it has implemented almost the whole corpus of European legislation since that date. In areas where it has been given extra time to comply, it will have to respect legally binding timetables.


The extent to which the public can take an environmental issue to court is unclear. The basic right of access to justice is enshrined in the United Nations Aarhus Convention and some specific areas of EU environmental law, but the principle is not always applied in practice. The Commission is seeking...


Legislation on the statute book counts for little if it is not properly implemented and enforced. The EU has agreed an array of environment measures over the past 40 years, but the way these are applied can be patchy. To remedy this, the Commission is proposing to help Member States improve their...