The European Union has helped put in place rules to provide society with environmental benefits that include clean water, breathable air and a healthy nature.
Environmental compliance assurance describes all the ways in which public authorities promote, monitor and enforce compliance with such rules. It is part of environmental governance.
In January 2018, the Commission adopted an action plan to increase compliance with and improve governance on EU environmental rules. A Commission expert group, the ‘Environmental Compliance and Governance Forum’, was established to help steer the work and enable an exchange of views between professionals with responsibilities in the field of environmental compliance assurance. The Forum meets regularly.
The Forum is composed of representatives of Member States and representatives of European networks of compliance assurance practitioners and authorities, particularly environment agencies (NEPA), inspectorates (IMPEL), police officers (EnviCrimeNet), prosecutors (ENPE), and judges (EUFJE).
The Forum approved a new work programme at its 4th meeting in February 2020.
Guidance on complaint-handling
Vade Mecum, available in different languages.
Summary guide on handling environmental complaints
Summary guide, available in different languages
Guidance on environmental compliance assurance in rural areas
Summary guide on compliance assurance in rural areas, available in different languages
Guidance on combatting environmental crime
Good practice document (the Vade Mecum and summary guide are being finalised)
Technical guidelines for inspections of extractive waste facilities
Training needs of IMPEL practitioners
Exploring the feasibility of an Environmental Implementation Portal
Compilation of CJEU case law on Member States’ obligation to remedy failures to carry out environmental assessments.
Video message of Commissioner Reynders to the Environmental Compliance and Governance Forum, 22 January 2021.
There are specific instruments and initiatives relevant to combatting environmental crime.
There are specific provisions and initiatives relevant to environmental inspections in Member States.
The Environmental Liability Directive establishes a framework based on the polluter pays principle to prevent and remedy environmental damage.
You can send any comments, questions or information of relevance to us: ENV-E04@ec.europa.eu.
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