Skip to main content Skip to page footer

elni Forum 2021 - elni 30th birthday conference

The power of environmental law - Experiences from the past and perspectives for the future elni 30th birthday conference

The Environmental Law Network International (elni) was founded in 1990. This network of environmental lawyers in Europe and beyond started with discussions and publications on topics like ‘Participation and Litigation Rights of Environmental Associations in Europe’, licensing procedures for industrial plants, environmentally sound waste management or ‘Institutions of International Environmental Governance’. Since then, the environmental crisis – with climate change, loss of biodiversity and worldwide pollution of air, land and water – has become much more serious. Environmental law has also grown in quantity and quality during these 30 years. So elni’s (belated) birthday event might be the right moment to look back and to look ahead with a focus on what environmental law can and should achieve.

The Conference took a closer look at four major topics: 1) Involvement of the public, 2) Litigation, 3) Climate laws and 4) ‘Zero pollution’. Leading European experts on environmental law from academia and legal practice analysed and discussed past developments, the present situation and future challenges. They payed particular attention to current plans and legislative proposals of the EU Commission regarding access to justice at Union and national level, a European Climate Law and the ‘Zero pollution’ action plan for air, water and soil.


The power of environmental law: 30 years of European environmental law - developments and perspectives
Prof. em. Dr. Eckard Rehbinder (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)
Debate with the audience

Public involvement: from burdensome addition to essential element
Prof. Dr. Jerzy Jendroska (Opole University, Poland) and Dr. Lorenzo Squintani (University of Groningen, the Netherlands)

Litigation and duties of states: can courts make a difference?
Prof. Dr. Julien Bétaille (university of Toulouse, France) and Prof Dr. Gerd Winter (University of Bremen, Germany)  
Debate with the audience led by moderator Prof. Dr. Gerhard Roller (Bingen University, Germany) 

Climate laws: Europe’s new hope?
Prof. Dr. Delphine Misonne (Université Saint-Louis, Belgium) and Prof. Dr. Marjan Peeters (Maastricht University, the Netherlands)
Debate with the audience led by moderator Prof. Dr. Luc Lavrysen (Ghent University, Belgium)

Zero pollution in 2050: which measures are necessary?
Prof. Dr. Martin Führ (Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, Germany) and Mr. Jeremy Wates (European Environmental Bureau)
Debate with the audience led by moderator Mrs. Isabelle Larmuseau (Flemish Environmental Law Association, Belgium)

30 years elni/elni Review
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Roller (Bingen University, Germany) and Dr. Julian Schenten (Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, Germany)

Link to the recording