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Enforcing Non-Discrimination in Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment: Advantages for EU Citizens from the Transposition of the Espoo and Aarhus Conventions?

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This article examines the relationship between international and European law with respect to transboundary environmental impact assessment (TEIA), which under the UNECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (Espoo) applies requirements for EIA to the relationship between states known as 'Parties of origin' and 'affected Parties'. Information is shared and participation in the Party of origin procedure by the public in affected as well as origin states is required (non-discrimination); these provisions are enhanced under the related Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus), which also contains provisions enabling enforcement. The purpose is to analyse whether EU citizens have greater opportunities to enforce these rights than citizens of state Parties to the two treaties that are not members of the EU. Procedure and practice under the transposing directives on EIA and public participation is examined, and conclusions are drawn that although to a large extent EU membership is advantageous to EU citizens involved with TEIA, certain constraints concerning public participation and access to justice remain.


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