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The environmental complaint in EU law

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image of Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law

The European Commission which has a large discretion to decide which infringements of EC environmental law it will pursue, has recently published communications which announce that it will concentrate on the transposition of EC legislation into the law of the Member States. This omits to structurally address the practical application of environmental legislation. Strong environmental groups which could contribute to the effective application of EC environmental law, lack; this feature makes the environmental sector different from most other economic or social sectors, where strong interests—professional bodies, trade unions, competitors, trade and industry associations, farmers' associations—promote the defense of their respective interests. All the more is the environment dependent on the commitment of the civil society to preserve and protect it. The contribution examines the instrument of the environmental complaint in EU law and criticizes the Commission's attempt to stop using the complaint system as a tool to assess practical application of EC environmental law in the Member States, though it is almost the only one existing.


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