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NEEL: the Network of EU Environment Lawyers

Gill Aitken

elni Review 2005, Issue 2,  pp. 10.

The Network of EU Environment Lawyers (NEEL) was launched as a Presidency event in London on 3 and 4 October 2005. Participants came from almost every Member State and from some of the institutions and were enthusiastic about the potential for such a group. The two-day conference covered both the purpose and constitution of the Network and also lively discussion of a number of issues of importance to the members – particularly on transposition, implementation and enforcement of EU law with reference to the Habitats Directive, and the Environmental Liability Directive. Like this NEEL was born and now has terms of reference, a dedicated website community offering discussion forums, a directory of members, monthly discussion topics and a quarterly newsletter. The idea for such a network had an UK lawyer with responsibility for environmental issues who wanted more opportunities to compare ideas and practice with those drafting and interpreting environmental legislation in other Members States and Community institutions. The United Kingdom’s Presidency of the EU, from 1 July to 31 December 2005, then presented an ideal opportunity to invite governmental experts in environmental law to meet and collaborate on issues of mutual interest.

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