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Emissions into the environment and disclosure of information Comments on ECJ C-442/14 and C-673/13P

Ludwig Krämer

elni Review 2017, Issue 1, pp. 25-29. https://doi.org/10.46850/elni.2017.004

The author of this article comments on ECJ C-442/14 and C-673/13P which concern the diverging interests of disclosing environmental information on the one hand, and protecting confidential business information on the other – two judgments which according to the author are likely to have a far-reaching influence on the disclosure of product information.

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References

  1. B. Wegener: Kein „Mund auf - Augen zu“ - der freie Zugang zu Informationen über Emissionen in die Umwelt, Zeitschrift für Umweltrecht 2017, p. 146.
  2. Court of Justice of the European Union, 2016, Judgment of the Court (Fifth Chamber) of 23 November 2016. Bayer CropScience SA-NV and Stichting De Bijenstichting v College voor de toelating van gewasbeschermingsmiddelen en biociden. Request for a preliminary ruling from the College van Beroep voor het Bedrijfsleven. Reference for a preliminary ruling — Environment — Aarhus Convention — Directive 2003/4/CE — Article 4(2) — Public access to information — Concept of ‘information relating to emissions into the environment’ — Directive 91/414/EEC — Directive 98/8/EC — Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 — Placing of plant protection products and biocides on the market — Confidentiality — Protection of industrial and commercial interests (Case C-442/14).
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  5. Agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights of 1995.
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  8. Regulation (EC) No 1367/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 on the application of the provisions of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision- making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters to Community institutions and bodies, OJ 2006 L 264/13.
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  16. Court of Justice of the European Union, 2014, Order of the General Court (Seventh Chamber) of 27 March 2014 Ecologistas en Acción-CODA v European Commission Access to documents — Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 — Documents relating to the carrying out of an industrial project on a site protected under Directive 92/43/EEC — Documents originating from a Member State — Opposition by the Member State — Refusal of access — Exception relating to the protection of the purpose of inspections, investigations and audits — Exception relating to the protection of court proceedings — Environmental information — Regulation (EC) No 1367/2006 — Action manifestly lacking any foundation in law (Case T‑603/11).
  17. Court of Justice of the European Union, 2014, Order of the General Court (Third Chamber) of 2 September 2014. Verein Natura Havel eV and Hans-Peter Vierhaus v European Commission. Access to documents — Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 — Letter of formal notice sent in the context of ongoing infringement proceedings concerning the compliance with EU law of German aviation law — Refusal of access — Exception relating to the protection of the purpose of inspections, investigations and audits — Action in part manifestly inadmissible and in part manifestly lacking any foundation in law (Case T‑538/13).
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  19. Regulation 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market and repealing Council Directives 79/117/EEC and 91/414/EEC, OJ 2009 L 309/1.
  20. Von Holleben, Judgment of the General Court of the EU on access to information under substance law, European Journal of Risk Regulation 2013, p. 578. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1867299X00003238.
  21. Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision- making and access to justice in environmental matters, Aarhus 1998.
  22. Court of Justice of the European Union, 2015, Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 13 January 2015. Council of the European Union and Others v Vereniging Milieudefensie and Stichting Stop Luchtverontreiniging Utrecht. Appeals — Directive 2008/50/EC — Directive on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe — Decision regarding the notification by the Kingdom of the Netherlands of the postponement of the deadline for attaining the limit values for nitrogen dioxide and the exemption from the obligation to apply the limit values for particulate matter (PM10) — Request for internal review of that decision, submitted pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1367/2006 — Commission decision declaring the request inadmissible — Measure of individual scope — Aarhus Convention — Validity of Regulation (EC) No 1367/2006 in the light of that convention (Joined Cases C-401/12 P to C-403/12 P).
  23. Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC, OJ 2006 L 396/1.
  24. Court of Justice of the European Union, 2015, Judgment of the General Court (Second Chamber) of 23 September 2015 ClientEarth and The International Chemical Secretariat v European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Access to documents — Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 — Documents held by ECHA — Documents deriving from a third party — Time-limit for response to an application for access — Refusal of access — Exception relating to protection of the commercial interests of a third party — Exception relating to protection of the decision-making process — Overriding public interest — Environmental information — Emissions into the environment (Case T-245/11).