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Horizontal Environmental EC Legislation


Horizontal Environmental EC Legislation

A Short Policy Guide

Access to information on the environment is an indispensible precondition for effective environmental policies. If this access is denied, neither the public sector nor the private sector is capable of making environmentally sound decisions. Willing to complement the EU's efforts to grant such access, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) promotes environmental policy cooperation between the EU and its Eastern and Southern neighbours. To support the effort, the European Commission has issued a guide to EC horizontal environmental legislation for its European neighbours and Russia.

Drafted by Ecologic Senior Fellow Anneke von Raggamby and Research Assistant Maria Berglund, the guide outlines a wide range of benefits deriving from the application of EC environmental policy instruments like the Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment Directives. However, the socio-economic gains associated with these measures will not materialise unless the main challenges to convergence, such as insufficient opportunities for public participation, are overcome. To achieve this goal, the guide serves as a roadmap toward establishing information mechanisms which allow for the implementation of EC environmental legislation.

The guide is the results of Ecologic's project Environmental Components of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

The guide can be downloaded in four languages:

This guide on horizontal EC environmental legislation is part of a series of short convergence guides for ENP Partners and Russia published by the European Commission. Their purpose is to help EU neighbours realise the benefits associated with ENP Action Plans.

The following guides have been published in this series:


Berglund, Maria und Anneke von Raggamby 2007: Horizontal Environmental EC Legislation. Brussels: European Communities.

Arabic, English, French, Russian
30 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 In a Nutshell

3 Expected Benefits of Convergence

4 Overview of EU Policy
4.1 Access to Information Directive
4.2 Reporting Directive
4.3 Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment Directives
4.3.1 The EIA Directive
4.3.2 The SEA Directive
4.4 Directive for providing for public participation in respect of EIA [2003/35/EC]

5 Current situation with respect to Policy sector
5.1 Access to Information and Reporting
5.2 Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment
5.2.1 Mediterranean ENP Partner countries
5.2.2 Eastern ENP Partner countries

6 Conclusions for ENP and Russia

7 Further Information

ENP, European Commission, European Neighbourhood Policy, Horizontal Environmental EC Legislation, Environmental Impact Assessment, Strategic Environmental Assessment, EU, Russia