The Impact of Environmental Concerns on the Public Enforcement Mechanism under EU Law
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The European Union, with only 7.5% of the world’s population, is responsible for a major part of the contamination of the planet, and is a major contributor to the problems of the global environment. Fortunately, Europe has both the capacity and the experience to fight effectively against these problems, even in this ‘twenty-fifth hour’ of environmental degradation. This timely book identifies some of the weaknesses of the public enforcement mechanism inherent in Articles 258–260 TFEU, and suggests how that mechanism could be improved in order to promote the overall effectiveness of EU law and environmental law in particular. Starting from the idea that the European Union lacks a strong enforcement body to prevent Member States from exploiting loopholes in its legal system, the author thoroughly investigates the extent to which the effectiveness of the EU’s public enforcement provisions depends on voluntary compliance or on actual enforcement mechanisms. He shows that, while preventive procedures should always precede enforcement actions, European environmental law cannot be sufficiently promoted without stronger legal enforcement measures. Reviewing both the managerial methods and the enforcement mechanisms that the Commission can resort to, he examines such issues as the following: • why environmental protection issues produce the most problems with regard to enforcement; • reasons for non-compliance, types of breaches, and how breaches are detected; • the different stages of the infringement procedures under Articles 258-260; • method of calculating penalties; • schedules and time limits for compliance; • lines of defence Member States resort to in an infringement case; • situations where legal arguments are likely to be left behind by political considerations; • limits on the powers of the Commission and the ECJ; • when the ECJ can impose a higher penalty than in the original claim; and • what happens when a Member State fails to pay a penalty. The analysis covers the range of instruments, programmes, and institutions used by the EU to promote compliance with environmental law, such as LIFE, IMPEL, training and education schemes, and various financial tools, and also describes the role of the European Environment Agency and other statutory bodies. Detailed studies of cases which have arisen under Article 228 EC (now Article 260 TFEU) underpin the analysis, revealing common issues and emerging principles. An in-depth study of available approaches under EU law to effective recognition of environmental imperatives and better compliance with existing provisions, this important book offers practical recommendations that will improve and speed up infringement proceedings and strengthen both preventive measures and enforcement mechanisms. It is an essential resource for European lawyers and policymakers concerned with preventing further irreparable damage to our environment.
Table of contents:
About the Author
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1 Theories and the Basic Elements of Enforcement
Chapter 2 Monitoring the Application of the Treaties
Chapter 3 Strengthening Enforcement: The Introduction of Article 260
Chapter 4 Environmental Concerns
Chapter 5 Managerial Techniques
Chapter 6 Enforcement Techniques through Case Law
Chapter 7 Recommendations Conclusion
Appendix I Cases Referred to the ECJ Under Article 228 EC
Appendix II Amendments to the Public Enforcement Procedure
Appendix III Novelties in the Judgments
Treaties, Secondary Law
Table of Cases Index
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