EurActiv.com Correspondent's Choice

This story about EU environmental laws was published by EurActiv on 3rd November 2010.

The European Commission is preparing an EU strategy to improve implementation of the bloc’s environmental rules, with plans including stricter inspections on the ground and a greater role for national judges in promoting compliance.

The initiative is listed in the annex of the Commission’s work programme for next year, adopted on 27 October.

The initiative will take the form of a ‘Communication on implementing EU environmental law and policy’. It will “address the shortcomings in implementing environmental legislation” and proposes a “strategic way forward” to improve the current implementation gaps.

The EU executive said it would seek to improve the coherence of legislation, enhance compliance promotion, strengthen the effectiveness of inspections and enhance the role of national judges in supporting the implementation of EU legislation.

During his confirmation hearing at the European Parliament in January, EU Environment Commissioner Janez Poto?nik said that implementation would be high on his agenda.

But he acknowledged that the “true power lies at member-state level” and therefore capacity would need to be built at national level to help governments do the job themselves.

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