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The Dutch policy on gold-plating and the transposition of Directive 2008/98/EC on waste

Lorenzo Squintani

elni Review 2013,  pp. 44-50. https://doi.org/10.46850/elni.2013.006

Directive 2008/98/EC, recasting inter alia Directive 2006/12/EC, sets minimum requirements in the field of waste management. This means that the Member States have the competence to take measures, which achieve a higher level of environmental protection than that required by the Union legislator, so-called gold-plating. For some years, European citizens are assisting to a pan-European discussion on gold-plating. In the context of the Better Regulation agenda, EU institutions consider gold-plating a constraint to good regulation. The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria increasingly refrain from gold-plating. In the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands, gold-plating is regulated by centralised official policies aiming at fostering economic growth. Despite the relevance that these policies might have for the implementation of Union environmental law and, even more importantly, for the functioning of the system for the protection of the environment as shaped in the Treaties, there is still a lack of empirical data on the manner in which these policies apply in practice. This article represents a first attempt to fill-in this lacuna, by focusing on the transposition of Directive 2008/98/EC in the Netherlands. In this contribution, certain provisions of Directive 2008/98/EC are analysed in order to establish whether alleged cases of gold-plating were eliminated and whether new cases of gold-plating were introduced. This analysis provides useful information for understanding the functioning of the Dutch policy on gold-plating. First, however, it is necessary to explain what gold-plating means and what the Dutch policy on gold-plating entails.

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