Navigation path

High level navigation

Page navigation

Additional tools

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Print version
  • Decrease text
  • Increase text



What's new ?

  • A workshop on tackling waste and wildlife crime and non-compliance took place on 20 March 2017 in Brussels. The workshop programme, presentations, case studies, and summary are available through the links.
  • A roadmap on a Commission initiative on Environmental Compliance Assurance was published on 16 February 2017 and is available here.
  • A Stakeholder Conference on Environmental Compliance Assurance took place on 31 January 2017 in Brussels. The conference programme, paper, presentations and summary are available in the links.


EU framework on environmental inspections

Inspections are an important instrument to ensure the implementation and enforcement of EU environment legislation.

In 2001, recognising that there was a wide disparity between inspection systems in the Member States, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Recommendation 2001/331/EC providing for minimum criteria for environmental inspections in the Member States (RMCEI).

The RMCEI contains non-binding criteria for the planning, carrying out, following up and reporting on environmental inspections. Its objective is to strengthen compliance with EU environment law and to contribute to its more consistent implementation and enforcement in all Member States.

The content of the RMCEI has strongly influenced provisions on environmental inspections in sectoral pieces of environment and climate change legislation:

The European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environment Law (IMPEL) played an important role in the preparation of the RMCEI and through its activities has also played an important role in its implementation.

Revision of the EU legal framework on environmental inspections

The 7th Environmental Action Programme recognizes that the improvement of the implementation and enforcement of EU environment law at all administrative levels and the guarantee of level playing field requires extending binding criteria for effective Member State inspections to the wider body of the environment acquis and complementing these with support for networks of professionals, reinforcement of peer reviews and best practice sharing. It followed a public consultation which had, inter alia, sought views on revising the current framework on environmental inspections. It also followed Commission Communication of March 2012 on Improving the Delivery of Benefits from EU Environment Measures: Building Confidence through Better Knowledge and Responsiveness, COM(2012)95 which had also referred to the subject.

The Council Conclusions of 11 June 2012 also called for improving inspections regimes on the basis of experience with existing provisions and avoiding unnecessary administrative burdens.

In its Opinion to the Commission proposal for the 7th EAP (2013/C 17/07), the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) stressed that an EU-wide framework for national inspections can ensure a level playing field and consistency in legal action across the EU and improve trans-frontier cooperation. It also pointed out the value of a well-defined inspection related role of the Commission.

These developments occurred against the background of an earlier review of the RMCEI, details of which can be found through this link.

Results of the online consultation on the revision of the EU legal framework on environmental inspections:

A Workshop on Environmental Inspections and Compliance Assurance organised in cooperation with the EU Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) and the Italian authorities took place on the 10th of December 2014 in Rome. The workshop program and presentations are available here.

Relevant studies