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Date: 3 March 2023

elni member news: Environmental Law Lecture Series

The lecture series Strengthening EU Environmental Law: Legal Perspectives on Greening Europe provides a set of important insights from environmental law scholars on how EU environmental law helps to achieve the aim of a high level of environmental protection in the European Union and across the world. It will be opened by Professor Michael Faure (“Criminal Law as an Enforcement System of the Environmental Acquis”), March 9, 2023.

Click here to register for the freely accessible online (and hybrid) lecture series


Date: 3 March 2022

elni member news: International PhD workshop on 28 April

Following the big success of the last year PhD Workshop the organizers - European Environmental Law Forum (EELF), the European Law Institute, the Faculty of Law of Opole University, Poland, the Faculty of Law of Groningen University, The Netherlands, the German Competence Network for Environmental Law and Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - have decided to host the workshop again this year.   Participation is open to PhD students from all countries in the world and is free of charge. All details may be found here.


Date: 30. November 2022 (Update)

Recording available - RePower Directive vs environmental acquis

The 2022 elni AGM took place on 24 November virtually, open for all members of elni and subscribers of elni Review. It was preceded by Jerzy Jendrośka's input on “Green energy transition vs other aspects of environmental acquis in light of the proposal for the RePower Directive (COM/2022/222 final)”, which was followed by a discussion.

Find more information in the event section...


Date: 28 February 2022

New series of elni-VOOR online conferences “Challenges of European environmental law towards 2030”

Registration is now open to the first two events:

Implementing the Green Deal: how many legal challenges for environmental law? (16/03/22)

PFAS-scandals in many European countries: what can we learn? (26/04/22)

Date: 19 November 2021

Looking back at elni 30th birthday conference "The power of environmental law"

On 15 October, more than 80 legal experts from academia and practice, law students and others interested in environmental law enjoyed the full-day online event, which was packed with interesting contributions and discussions sharing past experiences and perspectives for the future of environmental law. In the closing event in the evening, members and friends of elni celebrated the 30th anniversary of the network. The events section provides more details on the event, including the link to the recording.

Date: 11 March 2021

Together with the Flemish Environmental Law Association (VVOR) elni is co-organising a number of events. Click the links to get more information and register to the events.

Challenges of European environmental law towards 2030 - 2021 Webinar series

Webinar series

The Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive: joy or sadness at the 20th birthday?
Tuesday, 18 May, 2021 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
The recording of the Webinar is available at the VVOR website.

Revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive: in search of consistency with climate, energy and circular economy policies?
Tuesday, June 15, 2021 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Protection of groundwater under the Water Framework Directive: Member States obligations and recent judgments
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM



Date: 5 June 2020

Event cycle in 2020

Members of elni are invited to participate in the 2020 event cycle. Under the all embracing question “Green Deal – A way forward for EU environmental legislation?” we are hosting four events.

Upcoming events:

•    26 October, Reflections on Green Deal as way forward for EU environmental legislation and Anniversary event with regard to 20 years of elni (More details tba.)

Find more details on speakers and the registration in the invitation.

Past events:

•    23 June, 3 to 5 p.m. (CET) The proposal for a EU Climate Law (Online webinar)
•    14 July, 3 to 5 p.m. (CET) Access to Justice in EU and the Member States (Online webinar)
•    14 October, 3 to 5 p.m. (CET) Product policies for a Circular Economy (Online webinar)

Find more information and the links to the recordings under events by elni.

Date: 1 May 2020

  • Call for papers

    The editors would like to encourage wrtiters to submit articles on the following topics:

    - European “Green Deal” and the policy fields covered therein (climate action, circular economy etc.), perhaps reflecting on
      the current momentum to re-shape economies
    - Access to Justice / Relation of Governments and Courts (as tried in the famous Urgenda case)

    We also invite to send news, blog items and the like to the organisers of elni so we can share it on the website with members and the public.

Date: 1 May 2020

  • Changes to the elni Review

    From 2020 on, we will publish articles on a rolling basis. Submitted papers that meet the requirements of the elni Review will thus be accessible much faster.

    A journal very similar to the elni Review you know will be published once a year, compiling all articles published in the last 12 months.

    elni members will exclusively receive via e-mail an electronic version of published articles ad hoc, and the compilation of articles once a year. Three months after publication, articles (and the compilation) will be put on for public access.

    There won’t be a print issue of the elni Review in future, thus reducing workload and (environmental) costs.

Date: 18 December 2019

  • Comment: Four measures strengthening producer responsibility to make the 2019 "Green Deal" work

    In a trenchent contribution, elni co-founder and legal scholar Martin Führ comments on the European Commission Communication "The European Green Deal" [COM(2019) 640 final]. Observing that production and consumption patterns (SDG 12) are "key" to the Green Deal, he asserts the necessary innovations in that direction of SDG 12 must be tackled by the key players, from the raw materials and chemical industries to the manufacturing industry, brands and trade. Find the formulated proposals here.

Date: 13 December 2019

  • elni Review 2019 released

    Already the founding conference of elni in 1990 discussed the potential benefits of the ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’ (EIA). The ‘Strategic Environmental Assessment’ (SEA) might be seen as the younger sister of EIA; however in terms of scope bigger. The European Directive on SEA has been subject to a REFIT-process by the European Commission. The results were published at the end of November this year. The conclusion in general terms: The SEA Directive is fit for purpose. However, some Member States expressed their concerns with regard to the recent decisions of the CJEU. Thomas Bunge assesses the Term ‘Plans and Programmes’ as interpreted by the highest EU court. Air quality is also a neuralgic point in many cities throughout Europe. In this respect, Ulrike Weiland reports on SEA in Air Quality Planning in Germany.

    Attracta Uí Bhroin from Dublin based Irish Environmental Network comments on a November 2019 CJEU ruling following the ‘Derrybrien case’ concerning EIA in Ireland. According to Attracta, the judgement has profound implications for several legal questions concerning, i.a., obligations to remedy and state liability.

    Besides, the current issue of the elni Review, once more, features several contributions on the governance of chemical substances. Simon Johannes Winkler-Portmann analyses the compliance challenges of the automotive industry concerning obligations of REACH on the communication of ‘substances of very high concern’ (SVHCs). He thus assesses the effectiveness in terms of compliance of the sector’s governance approach to control chemical substances used in every single part of a vehicle, and develops options to overcome existing deficits.

    The Recent Developments section starts off with Silke Kleihauer and Leonie Lennartz reporting on the results of a research project aiming to support ‘more sustainable chemistry’ in the textile supply chain, i.a. by broadening the view from the ‘reactive’ compliance position to a ‘proactive’ beyond compliance perspective. Thereby outlining, in addition, the highlights of a ‘Scenario Process’ together with actors from the textile chains, the piece also provides relevant methodological perspectives with a view to supporting transitions of industry sectors in the direction of sustainable development. The contributions by Winkler-Portmann and Kleihauer / Lennartz are also to be seen in the context of the pervasive goal of creating more ‘Circular Economies’, which is pushed recently by normative impulses (e.g. recast of the Waste Framework Directive – WFD) and which increasingly is reflected in strategic approaches of companies. Against this background, Henning Friege et al. comment on the ‘tricky relationships’ of chemicals, waste and product legislation. Considering the interfaces and intersections of these frameworks they formulate eminent policy recommendations aimed to ensure that ‘Circular Economies’ are capable of avoiding the ‘recycling’ of problematic chemical substances present in (waste) raw materials. Finally, Martin Wimmer from the Austrian Ministry for Sustainability and Tourisms outlines key findings of an ‘International Conference on Green Chemistry’ during the Austrian EU Presidency. The event discussed perspectives how to foster and better integrate into the legal frameworks the principles of ‘Green Chemistry’, which guide the design of chemical substances, products and processes to avoid hazards and reduce resource use – thus offering potentials for industries to ensure their compliance and also for ‘Circular Economies’.


Date: 20 April 2018

  • elni Forum: "Circular Economy and Product Law – missing links"

    Today in Utrecht, NL the 2018 elni Forum took place featuring presentations by
    Alice Bernard, Client Earth,
    Prof. Chris Backes, University of Utrecht as well as
    Susanne Waaijers-van der Loop / Martien Janssen, RIVM

    More information to follow in the events section.

Date: 8 January 2018

  • "Law and Sustainability" conference track, 13-15 June 2018, Messina/Italy

    The 24th International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) Conference taking place from 13-15 June 2018 in Messina/Italy will include a "Law and Sustainability" track.

    Click for more information.

Date: 20 December 2017

  • Publication of elni Review 2/2017

    Access to justice in environmental matters has been in the focus of elni since the very beginning of the network. Two articles of the elni Review 2017/2 address interesting country case reports in this respect: 

    First off, in "Taking access to justice seriously: diffuse interests and actio popularis. Why not?" Alexandra Aragão and Ana Celeste Carvalho explain the Portuguese system of actio popularis: according to the authors the most favourable of all with regard to locus standi in environmental matters. They argue that the dichotomy between public and private environmental damage underlying the construction of the right of access to justice is not an accurate representation of the real life social relations concerning the environment. This is where the concept of diffuse interests, adopted in Portuguese constitutional law comes in. Eva Maschietto then casts some light on the Italian access to justice perspective that appears to be peculiar for its historical and political context. Her article aims at sketching some of the instruments that the Italian legal system has rendered available to individuals, environmental organisations and public agencies representing citizens and residents. These instruments address some of the most important aspects of environmental matters, disputes and barriers that are still present in the system, along with some potential solutions for the way forward.

    Next, the current Review provides two contributions linked to the issue of chemicals in products. Alice Bernard’s piece seeks to answer, “how EU law needs adjustments for the transition to an environmentally beneficial circular economy”. She argues that the current EU legal framework, notably the chemicals regulation REACH, needs adjustments to ensure that recovered materials do not contain hazardous chemicals in concentrations that are no longer considered safe. The article also shows, with a case study, gaps in EU law regarding information on hazardous chemicals in material cycles. According to the author, these gaps are barriers for economic actors willing to switch from primary to secondary production.  Finally, in the Recent Developments section, Katja Kontturi, Hannamaria Yliruusi and Martyn Futter report on how municipalities can control hazardous substances via public procurement. In this respect, they present results from interviews conducted with public procurement representatives of Gdańsk, Kaunas, Pärnu, Riga, Šilalė, Turku, Västerås, and Stockholm as part of the EU InterReg Baltic Sea Region-funded project “Innovative management solutions for minimizing emissions of hazardous substances from urban areas in the Baltic Sea Region” (NonHazCity).

    elni will further dive into the issue of chemicals in products in a 2018 event. More information is soon to be provided on

Date: 27 June 2017

  • Call for papers

    The editors welcome submissions of contributions addressing current national and international environmental law issues (e.g. transboundary EIA) for elni Review 2017/2 by 15 September 2017.

Date: 27 June 2017

  • Publication of elni Review 1/2017

    Brexit is definitively making the headlines in Europe and so too shall it be in the current issue of the elni Review.

    How the United Kingdom will one day really be able to leave the EU is still very uncertain. But whatever the proposed scenarios, one cannot avoid the fact that such a rupture, necessarily, will also concern environmental law and policy. An impact that has not escaped many key actors, including Commissioner Barnier and the House of Lords (report on Brexit: Environment and Climate Change, February 2017). It will have an impact both in the UK but also possibly in the EU, as will be developed in the current issue.

    The reader certainly knows that UK Environmental Law, like the law of every Member State, is very deeply europeanised. Its ambition, as brilliantly demonstrated in the recent case law on air pollution (CJEU, Client Earth, 2014), is decisively bound to the control of the CJEU. But the UK wants to quit the realm of the CJEU, according to the Great Repeal Bill White Paper, while ‘keeping’ the current acquis. What does this possibly mean, as far as environmental protection is concerned?

    As to the other side of the coin, the rupture will also possibly affect, somehow, environmental law and policy in the EU. In the rich encounter of various conceptual approaches, the UK has indeed brought a wave of challenging new ideas, in the ‘big bowl’ in which EU law is being processed. And this not least because the UK is a country abiding by a strong common law tradition.

    The two first contributions of this issue, one on the ‘UK Environmental Law Post Brexit’ and the other on ‘The Implications of Brexit for Future EU Environmental Law and Policy’, are the written tracks of presentations that were given by Prof. Veerle Heyvaert (LSE, London) and Céline Charveriat (IEEP, Brussels), on 11 May 2017 in Brussels, at the occasion of a new elni forum. That forum on Brexit and Environmental Law took place at the Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles, at the joint invitation of CEDRE and ELNI, under the chair of Prof. Delphine Misonne and Prof. Gerhard Roller.

    In their contribution on UK Environmental Law Post Brexit, Veerle Heyvaert and Aleksandra Cavoski go beyond assumptions and investigate what a gradual repatriation of EU law might mean, for specific areas (climate, ETS, biodiversity, air and water), for public authorities but also for civil society – where will be the guarantees civil society shall still need in order to challenge domestic policies? The authors also envisage how cooperation between the UK and the EU could actually proceed in the future, on environmental law issues. Because there is actually no escape, or rather “an inescapable physical reality”: environmental problems will continue to require concerted action.

    In their paper on ‘The Implications of Brexit for Future EU Environmental Law and Policy’, Céline Charveriat and Andrew Farmer present their thoughts on the possible consequences of Brexit for EU environmental policy in a, by necessity, quite speculative context. But they actually demonstrate that the first effects of Brexit on EU policy are already at work. There is a “general atmosphere of environmental policy making”, that should not be underestimated. The context might further lead to a ‘distraction’ from important issues and even impede crucial discussions, such as on the possible renewed interest in an EU carbon tax.

    Thomas Ormond in his programmatically entitled article ‘The EU as guarantor of environmental protection in Germany’ adds another perspective as to how the EU shapes Member State environmental law and policy, highlighting inter alia “innovation from Brussels” such as EIA, access to environmental information and climate protection, as well as the systematic and risk-based approach as hallmark of EU legislation.

    Next, Ludwig Krämer comments on ECJ C-442/14 and C-673/13P (see already the case report in elni Review 2016/2) 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 Krämer are likely to have a far-reaching influence on the disclosure of product information.

    Finally, Fatima Arib in ‘Promoting the Green Economy in Morocco’ analyses the main contextual features, including socio-economic, environmental as well as regulatory aspects and identifies progress made by Morocco and the challenges lying ahead.

    We hope you enjoy reading.

Date: 4 April 2017

  • Invitation: ELNI Forum "BREXIT and Environmental Law"

    The next ELNI Forum is due to be held
    on 11 May 2017 (5 to 7 pm)
    at Université Saint-Louis, Brussels

    The topic of the forum is BREXIT and Environmental Law.
    Confirmed speakers are
    Prof. Veerle Heyvaert, LSE, London and
    Céline Charveriat, IEEP.

    Please register for the event at  
    For more information please refer to invitation.

Date: 17 January 2017

  • Call for papers

    The editors of the elni Review welcome submission of articles on current Aarhus Convention related legal aspects until 1 April 2017.

Date: 15 December 2016

  • Publication of elni Review 2/2016

    This issue of elni Review is inter alia dedicated to a subject that has been on the Top Agenda in 2016: The Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada.

    On 8 September 2016 an ELNI Forum on CETA took place at the St. Louis Faculty of Law in Brussels. A small group of environmental lawyers debated intensively different aspects of this far-reaching agreement and its impact on environmental law in Europe in particular. Delphine Misonne gave an introduction on the potential impact of CETA on environmental law, Laurens Ankersmit and Wybe Th. Douma analysed the dispute settlement schemes under CETA and shortcomings of the agreement concerning sustainability and precautionary aspects. Nicolas de Sadeleer then explained the sophisticated ratification process for CETA and the legal uncertainty surrounding it.

    Details of these analyses can be found in the articles of Delphine Misonne, Laurens Ankersmit and Wybe Th. Douma.

    Besides a number of legal details, the interesting general aspect of who should negotiate such types of agreements arose during the discussion in the Forum. Given that CETA claims to be a progressive environmental agreement (which it is obviously not), it must be criticised that it has been negotiated only by trade experts and not by environmental experts. Whatever the outcome of this dossier is in the end, it has to be noted that public pressure and the scientific debate improved the Agreement considerably, even though it is still not sufficient from an environmental point of view.

    Another persistent environmental issue in 2016 – and foreseeably also well beyond – is the so-called ‘Volkswagen Scandal’; a symbol for a confidence crisis caused by and affecting not only the VW AG but also other major car manufacturers. A contribution by Ludwig Krämer, ‘The Volkswagen Scandal – Air Pollution and Administrative Inertia’ deals with the manipulation of NOx emissions from Volkswagen diesel cars on the one hand, and the manipulation of CO2 emissions from its diesel and petrol cars on the other. Not all details of the manipulations have been made public until now. A number of conclusions may nevertheless already be drawn. In this context, the editors would also like to draw the readers’ attention to the related analysis by Défense Terre (Strengthening the regulation of defeat devices in the European Union, Legal Note, June 2016) as well as to the expert opinion by Martin Führ for the German Bundestag's Committee of Inquiry with respect to the car emissions affair.

    A further article addresses the Aarhus Regulation which provides an opportunity for environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) to request an internal review of an EU institution or body that has adopted an administrative act under environmental law, or should have done so in the case of an alleged administrative omission. Thirza Moolenaar and Sandra Nóbrega investigate whether the criteria that have to be met for an ENGO to be entitled to make such a motion are sufficiently clear, and whether they contribute to the objective of providing wide access for ENGOs to the internal review procedure.

    This elni Review’s Recent Developments section starts off with a report of C-673/13 Commission v. Greenpeace and PAN Europe by Bondine Kloostra, the representative of the two NGOs involved. In its Judgment of 23 November 2016 the CJEU rules that the concept of ‘emissions into the environment’ is not limited to emissions from industrial installations. Rather it includes the release into the environment of substances such as pesticides and biocides. This landmark decision will most likely influence future access to information practice – not limited to the context of pesticides. Lastly, Elhoucine Chougrani examines the opportunities and the challenges in applying environmental law and enforcing the sustainable development goals in Morocco and Lynn Gummow reports on the 5th Lucerne Law and Economics Conference. 

Date: 6 September 2016

  • ELNI Forum

    At the joint initiative of CEDRE and ELNI, the 2016 ELNI Forum on

    Assessing CETA's impact on Environmental Law

    will be held on 8 September 2016 at Saint-Louis University Brussels.

    Please note that only invited persons may participate at this event.

Date: 28 June 2016

  • Call for contributions

    Contributions for the next issue of elni Review, in particular with respect to CETA's impact on Environmental Law, are very welcome.

    Please send contributions to the editors by mid-September 2016.

Date: 28 June 2016

  • elni Review 1/2016

    The aim of simplifying environmental law persists; it rekindled with the European Commission 2015 update of the Better Regulation Strategy and the related ‘Regulatory Fitness and Performance programme’ (REFIT) striving for “making EU law lighter, simpler and less costly”. At the same time, the ‘Make it Work’ initiative launched by several EU Member States adds some dynamics to the debate by providing first implementation experiences.

    Against this background, elni Review 1/2016 throws a spotlight on the simplification of environmental law. Lorenzo Squintani analyses the first ‘Make it Work’ Draft-ing Principles on compliance assurance with particular attention given to simplification matters, but also taking into account regulatory burdens and the EU’s objective of a high level of environmental protection. Subsequently, Alexandra Aragão reports on environmental modernization and administrative simplification experiences in Portugal and gives critical analysis of recent legal changes that took place in 2015.

    Besides, Eckard Rehbinder assesses the landmark 1st July 2015 decision of the European Court of Justice on the Non-Regression Principle and specifically addresses remaining open questions not answered by the court. Franziska Heß and Martin Führ discuss the current body of scientific knowledge on aircraft and based on this evidence derive legal implications with respect to EU legislation aiming at adequate protection of EU citizens against aircraft noise.

    Furthermore, in a Statement contribution Franz Fiala and Michela Vuerich articulate ANEC’s perspective on the circular economy concept presented by the European Commission in December 2015. Finally, in the recent developments section Miriam Dross sums up highlights from a recent statement by the German Advisory Council on the Environment as regards the impacts that the planned TTIP agreement could have on German and European environmental protection standards. 

    We hope you enjoy reading of elni Review 1/2016.

Date: 2 June 2016

  • UKELA Annual Conference 2016

    ‘From Global to Local’ – how international environmental law affects UK practice in energy, infrastructure, nature conservation, planning, marine and regulation.
    UKELA Annual Conference  on Friday 1 July to Sunday 3 July 2016 in Brighton, UK.

    Click for more information.

Date: 3 March 2016

  • 5th Law and Economics Conference "Environmental Law and Economics"

    To what extent is it justifiable to rely on markets and continued technological innovation? Or is it necessary for the state to intervene? Regulatory instruments are available to create and maintain a more sustainable society: command and control regulations, restraints, Pigovian taxes, emission certificates, nudging policies etc. The aim of this conference on 15 and 16 April 2016 at Faculty of Law, University of Lucerne is to join together researchers from multiple disciplines to discuss, and hopefully answer, these vital questions.

    Click for more information.

Date: 12 January 2016

  • Annual EELF Conference 2016: Call for papers

    The 2016 Annual European Environmental Law Forum (EELF) Conference, entitled "Procedural Environmental Rights: Principle X in Theory and Practice", will be held in Wrocław (Poland), European Cultural Capital 2016.

    Click for more information on the conference, including the call for submission of papers.

Date: 20 November 2015

  • Job opportunity

    The Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Moldava in Chisinau, Moldava is looking for a
    Lawyer or Environmental Scientist for environmental law

    Click for more information or directly contact
    Matthias Brandes-Geiger
    + 49 (0)6196 79-3572

Date: 3 November 2015 UPDATE

  • Annual general meeting of the Environmental Law Network International

    The 2015 general meeting of ELNI members will take place on

    Friday, 20 November 2015, 5:30 p.m.
    at Facultés universitaires St. Louis,
    Boulevard du Jardin Botanique 43,
    (how to get there)


    Room '4015'
    Entrance at 119, rue du Marais.

    There is a parking, please take at the left side the first wooden door and take the elevator to the 4. floor.

    All ELNI members are welcomed to join the meeting.

Date: 2 November 2015

  • elni Review 1+2/2015

    On 25 September 2015, in New York, 193 Heads of State and Government adopted a resolution entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ in the United Nations General Assembly. This Resolution defines 17 Sustainable Development Goals as well as 169 targets and can be considered the final integration of ecological, economic and social Sustainable Development objectives, supported by a separately established financing framework, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, as well as a transparent and inclusive reporting system to observe progress as to the achievement of its goals and targets.

    elni Review puts the spotlight on the current state of play as regards legal arrangements and implementation in respect to some of the Resolution’s major objectives. Among these is the target to, “by 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world”. Measured by this benchmark, and having in mind that 2015 was the “International Year of Soils”, Elizabeth Dooley, Ennid Roberts and Stephanie Wunder analyse the national and international implementation of the “land degradation neutral world” target.

    The impact of water quality, as well as quantity of quality water, on Sustainability Development is inter alia reflected in Goals 6 and 14 of the Agenda 2030. In addition, according to certain EU Water Framework Directive objectives, European waters have to achieve “good ecological and chemical status” by 2015. Against this background, Giuseppe Sgorbati and Nicoletta Dotti from the EU Network for Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) assess perspectives and actions to improve water quality in Europe. 

    Another sustainable development hotspot is the climate, which is addressed inter alia in the Resolution’s 13th Goal. Amongst the most prominent instruments to combat climate change are emissions trading systems (ETS). Jonathan Verschuuren and Floor Fleurke examine the enforcement of the EU ETS in the Member States. 

    Furthermore, Anaïs Berthier questions access to the transposition of EU environmental law by Member States by analysing a ruling of the EU General Court in case C-612/13P (ClientEarth v Commission).

    This issue’s Recent developments section provides an update on the TTIP-related ISDS discussions, a conference report on how the perception of chances and risks affect innovations for sustainability as well as a statement on environmental impact assessment law in Turkey.

Date: 25 June 2015

  • Academic seminar on 26 June 2015 at the Saint-Louis University, Brussels

    The seminar which is organised by l' Institut d'études européennes de l'Université Saint-Louis et la Chaire Jean Monnet de droit de l'Union européenne focuses the consistency with internal market and WTO law of the possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in their terrritory.
    Click for more information.


Date: 24 March 2015

  • Call for contribution

    In 2015 there will be a double feature of the elni Review focussing on the following themes:

    1. With the IED BREFs become legally binding
    o   What are effects on industrial plant regulations?
    o   What are effects on other sectorial legislation possibly impacted by BREFs or having an impact on BREFs?
    o   etc.

    2. 2015 is the “International Year of Soils”
    o   In how far is soil protection regulated in EU, in MS and in other jurisdictions?
    o   Links to the law of Legacy Waste Management
    o   etc.

    ­3. According to certain WFD’s objectives, European waters have to achieve ‘good ecological and chemical status’ by 2015
    o   Review and needs for action
    o   situation in different MS
    o   etc.

    4. European Commission attempts to withdraw environmental acts (see letter by the Avosetta Group)

    Submission deadline for contributions will be 30 June.

    Submissions or submission proposals can be sent via e-mail.


    Please feel also free to share this call with your networks.

Date: 17 December 2014

  • elni review issue 2/2014

    The negotations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) began in 2013 and have been the source of heated debate since then. In addition to various concerns regarding a feared reduction of statutory health and environmental standards, the main discussion has centered around the introduction of the so-called Investor-to-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS). Against this background the current elni issue focuses on issues relevant to TTIP with the following contributions.

    Andrea Carta addresses the question of whether the Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) fits in the EU legal system. His article describes the framework underlying the inclusion of ISDS in EU international investment agreements (IIAs) and discusses the concerns raised, particularly by NGOs, regarding the potential impact of ISDS on EU and Member States’ regulatory powers.

    The regulatory coherence in the TTIP Agreement in the context of chemicals is discussed by Vito Buonsante. He outlines the conflict between seeking regulatory coherence and at the same time maintaining the right to choose different levels of protection in regard to health, safety, consumer, labour and the environment.

    In the recent developments section Julian Schenten reports on activities to strengthen REACH provisions concerning (imported) articles which also touch a sensitive point in the relationship between the EU und the USA.


    A second series of contributions to this issue of the elni Review covers a variety of other topical legal issues.


    In an article by Viktoria Raczyńska the main provisions of Ukrainian legislation regulating hazardous waste management are analysed in terms of its compliance with the Basel Convention and the Directive 2008/98/EC.


    Furthermore, the contribution of Gerhard Roller deals with the ambiguous relationship between speed and quality in decision-making in Germany by analyzing the measures taken to expedite procedures.

    Finally, the issue concludes with recent developments – described by Nicola Below -with regard to participatory rights in the environmental decision-making process and the implementation of the Aarhus Convention.


    Call for contributions for the elni Review issue 1/2015: Contributions for the next issue of the elni Review are very welcome and may be sent to the editors by mid-March 2015.


Date: 13th October 2014

  • Strengthening REACH Provisions Concerning (Imported) Articles
    Policy workshop
    On 9 October the findings of the resarch project have been discussed with representatives from the European Commission, Industry, NGO, Science and ECHA at a policy workshop at Université Saint-Louis in Brussels.
    Check to get to the presentation slides.

Date: 15th July 2014

  • elni Review issue 1/2014
    This current issue of the elni Review is set in the light of the tragic loss of a friend of ELNI, Marc Pallemaerts (see the obituary below).  The topical spectrum of elni Review 1/2014 encompasses EU nature protection and pollution control law as well as the implementation of international law on transboundary impacts on the environment in Ukraine.

    Hendrik Schoukens analyses the ECJ Sweetman-Case and new developments in the judicial fixation of the scope of Art. 6(3) Habitats Directive about the permissibility of industrial or infrastructural interventions in Natura 2000 areas. The author argues that the Court’s ruling should be welcomed since it provides an additional safeguard for the EU’s most vulnerable habitats.

    The article by Christian Schaible illuminates shortcomings of the Industrial Emissions Directive as regards transpar-ency in the elaboration and evaluation of certain derogations for large combustion plants. The focus lies on an EEB action concerning a Greek derogation approval decision of the European Commission, which the NGO has since contested before the General Court on 18 June 2014.

    Victoria Rachynska examines the implementation of the “Espoo Convention” in the Ukraine. Based on a case study she identifies the country as one of the most persistent violators of the Convention and traces this in part back to the political and economic situation in Ukraine.
  • Call for Contributions: TTIP
    The next issue of the elni Review will concentrate on the current TTIP negotiations. Contributions concerning the clash of international trade and environmental protection, the role of arbitral jurisdiction and related topics are most welcome. Please inform us of your interest in a publication. Please send contributions to the editors by mid-September 2014.
  • Obituary

    Marc Pallemaerts

    Most elni-Members have already learnt about the very sad news. Marc Pallemaerts, one of the co-founders of elni, has died at the age of only 53. Marc participated in the first elni conference in Frankfurt in 1990. In the final discussion of the conference he took the floor once again and argued for an international treaty providing for procedures to enforce environmental legislation (see the minutes kept by Gabriele Britz and Sven Deimann, in: Führ/Roller, Participation and Litigation Rights of Environmental Associations in Europe, p. 181): in nucleo the aim of the Aarhus-Convention. The “Aarhus” issue has been one important of the numerous subjects of Marc’s work. His book on “The Aarhus Convention at Ten”, to which also elni members contrib-uted, was an outstanding example of Marc´s research. This also holds true for his contributions to the debate on WTO rules and product regulation as well as in the field of chemicals legislation (his PhD was about Toxics and Transnational Law) where he served as a member of the Management Board of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and – until his final weeks – as an alternate member of the Board of Appeal of ECHA. He was also UN Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes since November 2012 and had planned two new missions for 2014 in that regard, in the Middle-East and in Europe. Climate change was also one of the many fields in which Marc excelled and reached very important achievements. He plaid a truly decisive role in the international climate change negotiations, as a chief negotiator under the Belgian presidency of the EU in 2001, as an architect of the Marrakesh Accords, as a member of the Kyoto Protocol Committee and much more.

    In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Elizabeth Haub Prize for environmental law by the University of Stockholm “in recognition of his extensive and outstanding contributions to the development of environmental law and his successful efforts to combine theory and practice in pursuit of concrete results in multilateral negotiations”. Not the least and most importantly for him, as a lawyer and a political scientist, Marc was an academic. He was a professor in various universities, in Belgium and abroad, much appreciated by its students and always ready to engage into new scientific research projects.  Marc was brilliant and had a very sharp mind. He always knew and explained where the real issues were. He rarely hesitated to speak his mind and frankly stated his opinions.  He will be greatly missed by us, as a colleague as well as personally. European Environmental Law has lost an important figure.

    For a more elaborate obituary please also visit the IEEP.

Date: 13th January 2014

  • Call for contributions for the elni Review issue 1/2014 - New policy package

    On December 18, 2013 the European Commission adopted a policy package aimed at a renewal of the EU clean air policy. The package includes
    • A new Clean Air Program for Europe with measures to ensure that existing targets are met in the short term, and new air quality objectives for the period up to 2030. The package also includes support measures to help cut air pollution, with a focus on improving air quality in cities, supporting research and innovation, and promoting international cooperation
    • A revised National Emission Ceilings Directive with stricter national emission ceilings for the six main pollutants , and
    • A proposal for a new Directive to reduce pollution from medium-sized combustion installations, such as energy plants for street blocks or large buildings, and small industry installations (Source: COM press-release).

    The next issue of the elni Review is to focus on the new EU clean air policy. Contributions related to this cross-cutting issue on a European, international or national scale are very welcome and may be sent to schenten[at] by mid-March 2014.

Date: 6th January 2014

  • European Citizens' Initiative “End ecocide in Europe” proposes EU directive

    The European Citizens' Initiative “End ecocide in Europe” aims at making severe environmental destruction a crime.“Ecocide” is defined as the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished.

    Today ecocide is a crime during war time only. The initiative proposes en EU directive which would criminalise ecoside also if committed by EU citizens or companies outsiede EU territory. Provided that it gathers one million signatures, the European Commission has to deal with the proposal.

    The deadline for signatures expires 21st January 2014. To be signed at the website, which is available in all official EU languages. 



Date: 5th December 2013

  • Articles of the elni Review 1+2/2013
    The aim of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process is to ensure that projects which are likely to have a significant effect on the environment are assessed in advance so that people are aware of what those effects are likely to be. The review process conducted by the Commission of the 25 year-old “EIA-Directive” identified its potential strengths and weaknesses. Set against this background, the current edition of the elni review is dedicated to legal challenges in the implementation of Environmental Impact Assessment.

    Firstly an overview of challenges and perspectives of the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive is given by Sergiusz Urban and Jerzy Jendrośka in their review of the elni conference held on May this year in Wroclaw which examined the proposed changes of the EIA Directive in the light of practical experience gathered up to now (Member States experience, jurisprudence of EU courts and international bodies) and views expressed in literature.estimate concentrations of nanomaterials in EU waters.

    Subsequently, the Appropriate Impact Assessment and Authorisation Requirements of Plans and Projects likely to have significant impacts on Natura 2000 sites are examined by Nicolas de Sadeleer. The aim of his article is to shed light on the procedural requirements of the Habitats Directive, which are a key provision for implementing the EU’s system of protecting and preserving biological diversity in the Member States.

    The third article is written by Eckard Rehbinder and argues for (suitable) criteria for the assessment of the likely environmental impacts of projects which are subject to the EIA, focusing on the assessments carried out by the competent authority and the assessment elements of the environmental report and the consultation of interested authorities. Furthermore there will be the possibility to discuss the topic from a NGOs and business perspective.

    The final article which concentrates on EIA is by Gijs Hoevenaars and analyses the quality review of EIAs and Strategic Environmental Impact Assessments (SEA). With regard to the current discussions in Europe on this subject, this article provides an insight into Dutch experiences with the quality review of EIA and SEA.

    Further articles are dealing with current EU legal issues.

    The article of Ludwig Krämer analyses the practice of access to documents within the EU on the basis of several examples of legislation, and its use and interpretation by the EU Courts of Justice in the area of access to environmental information. information on the date and the full programme will be posted soon.

    In a further article Lorenzo Squintani discusses the practice of national bodies exceeding the terms of European Union directives when implementing them into national law. He analyses certain provisions of the Directive 2008/98/EC on waste in order to understand the functioning of the Dutch policy on so-called “gold-plating”.

    Finally, Peter Kremer examines whether mercury depositions which are emitted by Coal-Fired Power Stations are in line with the Industry Emission Directive and the Water Framework directive. Furthermore, he analyses what instruments are available under prevailing law to prohibit the construction of new coal-fired power stations and to make their approval subject to judicial review.

  • Call for contributions for the elni Review issue 1/2014: Contributions for the next issue of the elni Review are very welcome and may be sent to the editors by mid-February 2014


Date: 14th October 2013

  • Pre-announcement elni forum 2014: “Environmental footprint – key issues and practical experiences” February 2014 in Brussels, Belgium.

    The aim of the initiative “elni-forum” is to bring together, on a convivial basis and in a seminar-sized group, environmental lawyers living or working in the Brussels area, who are interested in discussing and sharing views on specific topics related to environmental law and policies.

    The elni forum 2014 will offer the opportunity to discuss environmental footprinting issues in environmental law from different point of views:

    Arjen Hoekstra (tbc), Professor for Water Management and creator of the water footprint concept, University Twente, Netherlands presents key issues on the concept and developments on the water footprint.
    Imola Bedo (tbc), Production Coordinator DG Environment, European Commission (tbc) will provide the point of view of the EU Green products policy (PEF,OEF,PCRs, product passport). 

    Furthermore there will be the possibility to discuss the topic from a NGOs and business perspective.

    More information on the date and the full programme will be posted soon.


Date: 14th February 2013

  • elni Conference 2013 - 23-24 May 2013, Wroclaw
    EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive
    Challenges and perspectives in the light of the past experiences and the recent proposal for amendment

    The aim of the elni conference 2013 is to examine the proposed changes of the EIA Directive in the light of the hitherto practical experience (Member States experience, jurisprudence of EU courts and international bodies) and views expressed in the literature. The purpose is to identify the possible challenges with a view to influence the further legislative process.
    Target audience are  practitioners and academics dealing with EIA.

    More information on the conference...


Date: 8th November 2012

  • Articles of the elni Review 2/2012
    Water is a precondition for human, animal and plant life as well as an indispensable resource for the economy. Thus, according to the European Commission the protection of water resources, of fresh and salt water ecosystems and of the water we drink and bathe in is therefore one of the cornerstones of environmental protection in Europe. Against this background the present issue of elni Review focuses on the legal framework for (the protection of) water in Europe and explains, among other things, how far it can cope with possible threats from emerging technologies and to what extent some of the legislation has been implemented in specific member States of the EU. Moreover, insights are provided into some new political or scientific initiatives to further develop the legal framework for protecting water.

    First off, in their article "Nanomaterials as priority substances under the WFD" Catherine Ganzleben and Steffen Foss Hansen examine whether Directive 2000/60/EC (‘Water Framework Directive’), which aims to reduce and minimise the concentrations of dangerous chemicals in European waters, and related legal requirements include the right instruments to capture nanomaterials. They also consider whether techniques are available to allow for monitoring nanomaterials in surface waters and review data from modelling exercises that estimate concentrations of nanomaterials in EU waters.

    Subsequently, Ana Barreira provides an overview of the main elements of the Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and analyses how Spain, as an EU country with 8000 km of coastal fringe, is complying with the directive and will review its marine governance framework.

    The third article is by Thomas Ormond and takes another perspective, evaluating how far international and European legal instruments for the regulation of ship dismantling (potentially) ensure the safe and environmentally sound recycling of European ships in regions like South Asia.

    Sarolta Tripolszky explains the concept of the term ‘water services’ in her contribution and outlines the economic and legal consequences of a narrow and broad definition. In this context and with specific reference to a collective complaint started by the NGOs EEB and WWF in 2006 against 11 EU member states to enforce the correct implementation of the WFD, she also describes the development of this legal instrument.

    The final article with a focus on water is by Marga Robesin and describes current discussions on the question of how to achieve substantial water footprint reduction, focusing in particular on certification and labelling.

    A second series of contributions to this issue of the elni Review covers a variety of other up-to-date legal issues, including the advancement and legal implementation of the concept of ‘sustainable development’.

    To this end, Eckard Rehbinder, who attended the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, shares some critical comments on the summit outcome.

    The following contribution by Peter de Smedt, Hendrik Schoukens and Tania Van Laer examines the anchoring of sustainable development in the Belgian Constitution, discusses the concept’s juridical enforceability and subsequently analyses the consequences of this qualification for the application in the jurisprudence.

    In a further article Julian Schenten and Martin Führ present empirical data obtained by several survey methods focusing on companies which manufacture and/or use nanomaterials. They analyse the findings under the perspective of the degree to which REACH (Regulation EC 1907/2006) promotes innovations for sustainability in the field of nanomaterials.

    In June 2012 the EU General Court adopted long awaited decisions in two cases in which it interprets for the first time Regulation 1367/2006 (‘Aarhus Regulation’) – Anaïs Berthier examines what real added value these two decisions have with regards to access to justice.

    Finally, in a statement by Almut Gaude from BUND, the German branch of Friends of the Earth (FoE), the NGO expresses its perspective on the Rio+20 conference outcome.
  • Call for contributions for the elni Review issue 1/2013: Contributions for the next issue of the elni Review are very welcome and may be sent to the editors by mid-February 2013.


Date: 7th November 2012

  • International Conference: "20 years of Habitats Directive: European Wildlife’s Best Hope?"
    The international conference which is co-organised by a broad variety of organisations (such as SERES, BDM, CMR, CEDRE, VVOR, Argus and more supporting organisations, such as elni) will take place in Antwerp (Belgium) on 12-13 December 2012.

    The Habitats Directive forms the cornerstone of Europe’s nature conservation policy. It is built around two pillars: the Natura 2000 network of protected sites and the strict system of species protection. More than 18% of the surface of the EU is a part of the Natura 2000 network whereas over hundreds of animal and plant species are protected by the provisions of article 12 and 16 of the Habitats Directive. Yet, at its 20th Birthday, there seems little to no reason to cheer. At present only 17% of the protected habitats and species are in a favourable conservation status. According to IUCN Red List, 10 to 60 % of animal species, depending on the monitored groups, are threatened in Europe. This conference aims at assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the Habitats Directive in the light of the European ‘no net loss’ approach. In this respect focus will not only rest on the existing threats to biodiversity (e.g. nitrogen deposit) but also on new challenges, such as climate change and invasive alien species. Is the Habitats Directive robust enough to tackle these new and existing threats or do we need other or better legal instruments?

    Although the conference will mainly be dedicated to legal issues, it will not lose sight of the broader, more multidiscplinary ecological context.

    Please note: There are special conference fees for elni Members

    More information on the conference...


Date: 30th May 2012

  • Articles of the elni Review 1/2012
    This issue of elni Review deals with the interdependence between European law and environmental law in non-European countries. On the one hand environmental law developments in a number of countries are initiated by adaptation processes as they seek to implement the European model into their national context. But there are also on the other hand further driving forces like investment policies.

    In her article “European investment projects in the third countries: LEGALLY GREEN?” Daria Ratsiborinskaya analyses how European environmental standards are applied outside of Europe in the case of foreign direct investments.

    “Market-based Mechanisms as Climate Policies: Insights for Brazil” is the title of Natascha Trennepohl’s contribution, which highlights the basic elements of a trading scheme by focussing on the model of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and the development of the carbon market in Brazil.

    The adoption of the European acquis in Croatia is discussed by Lana Ofak in her article “Public participation in decisions on specific activities in environmental matters in Croatia”. The article provides a general overview of the legal framework for public participation in decisions on specific activities in Croatia and highlights specific problems in exercising the right to participate in environmental impact assessment procedures.

    Brahim Zyani gives a valuable overview of the current environmental law situation in Morocco by tracing the developments in recent decades in his article “Nouveautés constitutionnelles, juridiques et de politique générale relatives au Droit de l'Environnement et du Développement Durable dans le Royaume du Maroc”. Since the article is written in French a summary is provided in English.

    Additionally, the current issue of elni Review makes available new information about recent developments, e.g. the revision of the Brazilian Forest Code, which has received critical press in recent media; and the environmental regulatory developments after the ’Arab Spring’ in Tunisia. The relevant article is also written in French and briefly summarized in English.
  • Call for contributions for the elni Review issue 2/2012:The next issue of elni Review will focus on water. Please send contributions on this topic as well as other interesting articles to the editors by mid-September 2012. We are looking forward to hearing from you!


Date: 18th November 2011

  • Articles of the elni Review 2/2011
    The current issue of elni Review covers a variety of topics on international environmental law, including standardisation of environmental NGOs, conservation law and two country specific contributions from Brazil regarding access to environmental information and biotechnological inventions.
    Special focus in this issue is placed on two different topics: Firstly on intellectual property rights on genetic resources. The second subject is devoted to access to environmental information and access to justice within the framework of the Aarhus Convention.

    First of all, Christoph Then and Ruth Tippe examine the impact of biopatents on animal and plant breeding in their article “Patents on melon, broccoli and ham?”. After shedding light on current German and European patent legislation they discuss the consequences of patents on conventional breeding regarding genetic resources and food production.

    The second article “Biopatents in Brazil” by Edson Paula de Souza provides insights into current legislation on biotechnological inventions in Brazil. He explores the impact of limitation on patent protection for R&D.

    Susette Biber-Klemm and Michelangelo Temmerman then provide us with an overview of Rights to Animal Genetic Resources by comparing the different legal frameworks for plant and animal breeding/genetic resources on national and international levels.

    The two subsequent articles address different aspects of the Aarhus Convention:

    Sandra Aline Nascimento da Nóbrega gives an overview of access to environmental information in Brazil (access to environmental information is one of the three pillars of the Aarhus Convention). She compares the Aarhus Convention with Brazilian legislation and discusses which regulations have been implemented in Brazilian law.

    In her contribution Eva Julia Lohse asks whether there is unrestricted access to justice for environmental NGOs. She examines the judgement of the European Court of Justice (Case C-115/09) on the nonconformity of the German Environment Appeals Act with Directive 2003/35 and the Aarhus Convention. 

    Ralf Lottes’s article analyses what civil society can expect from the Commission’s proposal for a legislative review of the European standardisation policy. He concentrates on the standardisation of NGOs through the review of the EU framework for standardisation regarding environmental NGO participation on a national level.

    Hendrik Schoukens’ contribution on temporary nature and conservation law examines the adaptability of European nature conservation law for temporary nature, focusing on the situation in Belgium.

    Finally, we cover recent developments in environmental law with three different contributions concentrating on intellectual property rights in terms of genetic resources.

    The article by Lisa Minkmar provides insights from a biopatent case: the “Teff-Patent” (EP 1646287).

    Subsequently, Claudia Fricke reviews the current debate on the revision of Directive 98/44/EC on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions.

    Lastly, Graham Dutfield comments on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and the interplay between traditional knowledge, intellectual property rights and the right to food.

  • Call for contributions for the elni Review issue 1/2012:
    Contributions to the next Review are very welcome. Please send contributions to the editors by February 2012. We are looking forward to hearing from you.



Date: 11th of October 2011


  • elni Annual General Meeting on 7 November 2011 in Brussels:
    The Annual General Meeting of the Environmental Law Network International will take place on Monday, 7 November 2011, 5:00 p.m. at the Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis, Boulevard du Jardin botanique 43, 1000 Brussels.

    Besides, the presentation of the annual account and the annual report and election of the new board we want to discuss elni activities in the year 2012. There will also be time to exchange about recent environmental law developments and developments relating to the members' institutions (Draft Agenda).

    Please confirm your participation by sending an email to or writing to the following address: Mr Nicola Below, Society for Institutional Analysis (sofia), University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Haardtring 100, 64295 Darmstadt, Germany.



Date: 13th of July 2011


  • Upcoming events
    The Hamburg International Environmental Law Conference on 15.09.-16.09.2011 will assemble lawyers and decision makers from governments, law firms, public administration, universities and NGOs. The conference will provide a high level forum for international dialogue on the strengthening and further development of environmental law.

    Another international conference "Will national climate change legislation cool down global warming?" will take place on 27th October 2011 in Brussels and is jointly organised by the Flemish and Dutch Environmental Law Associations. Among other issues it will address climate policies and measures against the background of EU laws, regulations and EC policy communications and the role of the international carbon market.

    For more information please visit our events by elni members section.



Date: 21st of June 2011



Date: 1st of June 2011

  • Articles of the elni Review 1/2011
    The present issue of elni Review covers a variety of recent international environmental law issues alongside two country-specific contributions on EEE-waste regulation in Zanzibar, Tanzania and chemical substances legislation in China respectively. The key focus of the current edition of the journal, is chemical substances regulation.
    Three articles approach this topic from different points of view:

    First off, Gareth Callagy provides an overview of the legal impacts of the “Chinese REACH” legislation; an amendment to Chinese law which recently entered into force. By comparing the legal obligations arising from Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACH) and the Chinese pendant, he points out inter alia the legal issues which European registrants will face when marketing chemical substances to the “Middle Kingdom.” As every outstanding article it is available online free of charge.

    Subsequently, Julian Schenten analyses the state of affairs as regards the regulation of Nanomaterials in the food sector. Focusing on Regulation (EC) No. 258/97 on Novel Food, he identifies the weaknesses in terms of health protection and points out necessary key features which reasonable regulation of such chemical substances should have.

    The third article concentrating on chemicals is by Vito Buonsante; it creates a bridge between the REACH Regulation and access to documents claims. In this context the author examines the interaction and gaps in the REACH and Aarhus Convention systems as well as the role of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

    The other contributions cover a variety of up-to-date legal issues:

    Head of Legal at Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Gita Parihar, shows the legal impacts of the Cancun UN climate negotiations which took place in December 2010. In doing so, she develops a line of reasoning which remains relevant beyond the Bangkok Climate talks in April 2011.

    Asking in his title "A human right to a clean and healthy environment in Europe: Dream or reality?", Jan Van de Venis provides an introduction to the development of a human right to a healthy environment on a global scale. He analyses the ways in which this human rights-based approach to environmental issues evolved, what tangible benefits such a right could bring, along with where it currently stands globally and, more specifically, in Europe under the European Convention on Human Rights.

    In the contribution that follows, Tania Van Laer examines whether EU law allows Member States to justify, on the basis of animal welfare, unilateral measures that impose trade restrictions. At the same time she considers the main principles of the free movement of goods as well as the established view of the Court of Justice.

    The final article outlines the electronic waste situation in Zanzibar, Tanzania. In the absence of consumer protection provisions and specific environmental guidelines to regulate the import of these products or manage their safe disposal, the small island state is failing to implement the principles of the Basel Convention. Against this background Aboud S. Jumbe presents the current activities of the Department of Environment, Zanzibar, which is now in the advanced stages of preparing a legal document which contains a set of regulations on the import, handling, and disposal of used and waste electrical and electronics equipment.

    Finally, the issue covers recent developments portrayed by Tony Lowes regarding the situation of access to justice in Ireland – the only EU country in which the parliament has not ratified the 1998 UNECE Aarhus Convention.
  • Call for contributions for the elni Review issue 2/2011:
    Contributions to the next Review are very welcome. Please send contributions to the editors by September 2011. We are looking forward to hearing from you.


Date: 25th of March 2011

  • elni Forum 2011:
    “Access to Documents at European Level –  key issues and practical experiences” on 24th of May 2011 from 6.00 to 8.30 pm in Brussels, Belgium

    The aim of the initiative “elni-forum” is to bring together, on a convivial basis and in a seminar-sized group, environmental lawyers living or working in the Brussels area, who are interested in discussing and sharing views on specific topics related to environmental law and policies.

    The elni forum 2011 will offer the opportunity to discuss access to documents issues in environmental law from different point of views:

    Bondine Kloostra, Lawyer at Van Den Biesen Boesveld Advocaten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, presents key issues on access to documents to environmental information, including a recent decision of the ECJ (Stichting Natuur en Milieu).
    Vito Buonsante and Ludwig Krämer, Lawyers at ClientEarth, Brussels, Belgium, will present their practical experiences in access to documents, including the access to documents held by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
    Jean-François Brakeland, Head of Unit A2: Compliance promotion, governance and legal issues, DG Environment, European Commission, Brussels, will provide the point of view of the European Commission.

    The venue is the EU Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations (KoWi), Rue du Trône 98, 1050 Brussels, 8th Floor.

    More information and registration...


Date: 8th of November 2010

  • Articles of the elni Review 2/2010
    The main focus of issue 2/2010 is the environmental law of countries outside the EU – especially those considered to be developing or emerging countries. This issue of the elni Review includes the following contributions:

    Richard Gutierrez tackles "'New age' trade agreements and their possible contribution to toxic trade" in his article, examining the legal provisions under the Japanese economic partnership agreements that gave rise to the concerns over toxic waste trade and dumping. He also discusses the corresponding implications, particularly on the implementation of the Basel Convention on the Trans-boundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal by Southeast Asian countries.
    This outstanding article is available for download (see link above).

    In an article entitled "WTO Compatibility of Border Tax Adjustments as a Means for Promoting Environmental Protection", Rike U. Krämer analyses the rationale behind Border Tax Adjustments, its contribution to a level-playing field, and its legality under WTO law.

    "Intellectual Property Rights, Genetical Resources and Traditional Knowledge: An Approach from the Perspective of Megadiverse Countries" by Aírton Guilherme Berger Filho discusses biodiversity as well as biopiracy issues against the background of intellectual property rights and the rights of the native populations and the local communities regarding their territory, their cultural and environmental goods.

    Jimena Murillo Chávarro and Frank Maes provide details on the Andean Community, its legal instruments and a corresponding decision in their article "The Legal Nature of the Biodiversity Provisions adopted by the Andean Community".

    In "Convergence with the Water Framework Directive in the Context of the European Neighbourhood Policy", Claire Dupont and Gretta Goldenman look at the differences between approximation and convergence processes in the light of EU water legislation, drawing on interesting practical experiences gathered in Moldova and Georgia.

    Alongside articles covering environmental law issues of developing and emerging countries, this issue of elni Review also deals with three additional subjects:

    From a broader perspective Stefan Scheuer provides a critical analysis of the repercussions of the EU Water Framework Directive in "The Phase-Out of Hazardous Substances in Troubled Waters".

    Furthermore, Hanna D. Tolsma looks at the legal instrument of "Integrated Environmental Permitting", discussing in the process the integrated approach under the IPPC Directive and recent developments on integrated permitting in the Netherlands.

    Finally, we cover recent developments in the law on island protection in China and provide a brief summary of the ELNI-VMR-VVOR congress 2010. This conference addressed the environmental effects of industrial installations covered by the forthcoming European Directive on Industrial Emissions (IED/current IPPC Directive) and took place in Ghent on 17 September 2010. The conference report is available for download here (PDF).
  • Call for contributions for the elni Review issue 1/2011:
    Contributions to the next Review are very welcome. Please send contributions to the editors by mid-February 2011. We are looking forward to hearing from you.
  • ELNI general meeting on 18th September 2010 in Ghent:
    The day after the ELNI-VMR-VVOR congress the general meeting of the Environmental Law Network International took place.
    The participants discussed the future of the Environmental Law Network International. The following persons were also unanimously elected as further board members: Isabelle Larmuseau, Marga Robesin, and Jerzy Jendroska.


Date: 27th of August 2010

  • Event: "A High Level of Environmental Protection "
    Delphine Misonne from the CEDRE of the Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis in Bruxelles Belgium will present her PhD Thesis:
    "Le niveau élevé de protection, une exigence susceptible de contrôle - Considérations sur une règle essentielle du droit de l'environnement"
    The event will take place on the 8th of September 2010 at 16 pm.
    For more information please follow this link (-> Events -> by elni members)


Date: 7th of May 2010

  • Articles of the elni Review 1/2010
    The main focus of issue 1/2010 is waste law and offers the following contributions:

    In an article entitled “Remarks on the Waste Framework Directive”, Ludwig Krämer comments on the directive, in particular on those provisions where the legal situation has changed from previous legislation. This outstanding article is available for download here (PDF/ 729kb).

    Chinese e-waste legislation, current status and future development” is the subject of the article by Martin Streicher-Porte, Katharina Kummer, Xinwen Chi, Stefan Denzler and Xuejung Wang. This article provides detailed insights on several environmental laws and regulations concerning both waste of electrical and electronic equipment as well as the production of electrical and electronic equipment in China.

    The EU Waste Shipment Regulation and the need for better enforcement” by Thomas Ormond discusses the background of waste shipment law, traces the recent developments in waste trade and legislation and sets out current problems and issues.

    Beside waste law this issue of elni Review also deals with two subjects which are both relevant to the current environmental debate:

    The article “Quality and Speed of Administrative Decision-Making Proceedings: Tension or Balance?” by Chris Backes and Sander Jansen reflects the prevailing tensions concerning administrative decision-making: the necessity of speedier procedures – resulting from the economic crisis – the quality of the proceedings and the rights of citizens.

    Further Gerhard Roller addresses the legal role of NGOs in court proceedings in Germany in an article entitled “Locus standi for environmental NGOs in Germany”.

    In addition, this edition of elni Review covers recent developments concerning the debates about the EU Waste Implementation Agency, as well as the latest news about the Commission warning the UK about the unfair cost of challenging decisions.
  • Call for contributions for the elni Review issue 2/2010:
    The next issue of the elni review will focus on environmental law in developing and emerging countries. Contributions on this issue are very welcome. Please send contributions on this topic as well as other interesting articles to the editors by mid-July 2010.
  • ELNI-VMR-VVOR congress    
    Talking about the environmental effects of industrial installations: the European Directive on Industrial Emissions”:

    On the occasion of the upcoming recast of the European Directive on Industrial Emissions, the Environmental Law Network International, the Vereniging voor Milieurecht (VMR) and the Vlaamse Vereniging voor Omgevingsrecht (V.V.O.R.) are co-organising a congress on IPPC, IED, and all possible and impossible questions in this field. The congress will take place on 17th September 2010 at Ghent University. At the end of the day, there will be an unforgettable ELNI birthday party!
    More information on our website.
    Direct confirmation of your participation at:
  • ELNI general meeting on 18th September in Ghent:
    On the day after the ELNI-VMR-VVOR congress the general meeting of the Environmental Law Network International will take place . The intention is for people to get together and discuss the future strategy of ELNI. The agenda will focus on developing a common strategy to foster the international co-operation of the network.
    Please confirm your participation by sending an email to or writing to the following address: Mr Nicola Below, Society for Institutional Analysis (sofia), University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Haardtring 100, 64295 Darmstadt, Germany.
  • elni Review issue 1/2008 and 2/2008 now available online
    The issues 1/2008 and 2/2008 are now available online in our archive and can be downloaded free of charge.


Date: 5th of November 2009

  • Articles of the elni Review 2/2009
    The issue 2/2009 of the elni Review is ready for dispatch and offers the following contributions:
    In her article “EU Enforcement Policy of Community Environmental law as presented in the Commission Communication on implementing European Community Environmental law”, Marta Ballesteros discusses the implementation of European Community Environmental Law enforcement and its interaction with the Aarhus Convention and other European Laws.
    This outstanding Contribution can now be downloaded for free from our elni Review archive 2009 section (or download the PDF directly: PDF, 709KB).

    “The direct effect of the Aarhus Convention as seen by the French ‘Conseil d’Etat’” is the subject of the article by Julien Bétaille. His article provides detailed insights on the implementation and practical application of the Aarhus Convention in France.
    “Practical application of Article 9 of the Aarhus Convention in EU countries: Some comparative remarks” by Pavel Cerný discusses several specific topics from this field which can be considered crucial to legal protection of the environment in practice. The article also addresses the contributions and discussions presented at the „International conference on the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in practice”.
    The article “Environmental Inspections at the EU: The imperative to move forward” by Ana Barreira reflects the point of view of the EEB on compliance and enforcement of European Environmental Law.
    Further Christian Schaible addresses the EEB’s position on the revision of the IPPC Directive in his article “Current discussions on the proposal for an Industrial Emissions Directive: Stronger role for Best Available Techniques?”.
    National specifics of the IPPC Directive in practice are shown from a British point of view by Lesley James. She comments on the “Aberthaw Power Station: An IPPC case study”.
    “Why patents are crucial for the access of developing countries to Environmentally Sound Technologies” is explained by Michael Benske.

    This issue of elni Review also provides two conference reports:
    Nicola Below reports on the elni forum 2009 “The Directive on Industrial Emissions and its implementation in national law – key issues and practical experiences”, which took place at CEDRE in Brussels on 14th May 2009. The report can be downloaded from the elni events section (under elni Forum 2009).
    The contribution by Marie-Catharine van Engelen reports on the congress “European Environmental Law in Belgium and the Netherlands”, which took place in Rotterdam on 15th May 2009.
  • Special edition of elni
    The up-coming issue of elni will take the form of a special edition which will be devoted to the analysis of strategic conflict management of large infrastructure projects.
    It will be multidisciplinary in nature and represent the outcome of the project [module 3]. is a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research through its programme for socio-ecological research which was directed at facilitating the scientific networking on sustainable development, innovation and competitiveness.
    More information on the project on their homepage.


Date: 4th of November 2009

  • elni Conference 2010 on the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED/ current IPPC Directive)
    On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the start of the Environmental Law Network International, elni is planning to hold a conference before the end of 2010. The topic will be the revision of the IPPC Directive.
    More information on this event.


Date: 21th of October 2

  • Report from the European Commission on the application and effectiveness of the EIA Directive
    The European Commission published a report on the application and effectiveness of the EIA Directive (COM(2009) 0378 final) in July 2009. The Report points out implementation deficits, overlappings with other fields of laws and contradictions with other directives and policies. Moreover, it gives suggestions for improvements.
    On the one hand, the criticism concerns, in particular, screening and scoping on the grounds that member states have exceeded their margins of discretion. On the other hand, the report states that the overall objective of the EIA Directive has been achieved. Against the background of the growing environmental challenges in the area of biodiversity and climate change, and the EU enlargement in 2004 and 2007, the report is considered to be a first step towards an adjustment of the EIA Directive.
    Download the report from EUR-LEX.


Date: 17th of September 2009

  • elni member conference:
    "Environmental Law and Policy in the European Union: The Legacy of the Treaty of Amsterdam"

    On the occassion of the inaugural lecture of Professor Marc Pallemaerts on 20 November 2009, the Centre for Environmental Law organises a conference.
    The conference will take place on 19th November 2009 in Amsterdam.
    Further information on the forum.


Date: 16th of June 2009

  • New report:
    The report “Compliance by the European Community with its obligations on access to justice as a party to the Aarhus Convention - An IEEP Report for WWF-UK by Dr. Marc Pallemaerts (IEEP)” is now available on the IEEP Homepage or under Events by elni members.

    The study explores in much detail the extent to which the European Community is complying with the provisions of the Aarhus Convention. The author concludes that the EC has a major problem of non-compliance with its obligations in this respect. Different solutions to overcome the actual problems are presented.


Date 29th of May 2009

  • elni Review issue 1/2009
    The main topics of this issue are the enforcement of EU law, and criminal law and the environment.
    Here is a brief summary of the contents awaiting you:
    This issue of elni Review provides valuable insights into selected national law frameworks:
    “Environmental penalties in Italy” by Paola Brambilla focuses on the history and actual issues of criminal environmental law in Italy.
    “Enforcing EU environmental law outside Europe? The case of ship dismantling” by Thomas Ormond provides a special view on EU law enforcement from an international perspective.
    Armelle Gouritin and Paul De Hert critically discuss the recent developments of European environmental criminal law in their article “Directive 2008/99/EC of 19 November 2008 on the protection of the environment through criminal law: A new start for criminal law in the European Community?”
    Topics which focus on actual EU-law issues:
    The viewpoint of environmental organisations towards the setting of standards of emissions is provided in “Development of harmonised European standards for measuring emissions from construction products in CEN from the perspective of environmental organisations” by Michael Riess and Ralf Lottes.
    The article “Regulation of nanomaterials under present and future Chemicals legislation - Analysis and regulative options” by Stefanie Merenyi, Martin Führ and Kathleen Ordnung critically reviews REACH under the perspectives of nanomaterials. It also contains information on recent developments on EU level.
    Other topics focus on national laws of non-EU countries:
    In his article Eugene A. Wystorobets focuses on the “Principle of public participation in environmental law of the Russian Federation” and provides general insights into Russian law.
    “A survey of the Vietnamese environmental legislation on water” by Michael Zschiesche and Duong Thanh An focuses on Vietnamese water law and the organisational background of administrative institutions in this context.
  • Online promotion of leading elni Review articles:
    Paola Brambilla, “Environmental penalties in Italy”

    For the current elni Review issue 1/2009 we would like to draw your attention to the following downloadable article:
    Paola Brambilla, “Environmental penalties in Italy”. The article can be downloaded for free.
  • Call for papers
    If you are interested in publishing an article in the upcoming issue of the elni Review 2/2009, we would kindly ask you to send us proposals and articles on the main topics of the next issue: Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).
    Articles, reports on conferences and book reviews on other topics are also welcome.
    Please bear in mind that the editorial deadline is at the end of August 2009; so please get in touch as soon as possible.


Date 26th of May 2009

  • Regulating Chemicals in California and Europe:
    "Regulating Chemicals - Californian Green Chemistry and European REACH"

    The Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (IES) and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) together with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) will host a Environmental Policy Forum.
    The forum will take place on 9th June 2009 in Brussels.
    Deadline for registration is the 4th June 2009, COB.
    Further information on the forum.


Date 22th of May 2009

  • Chinese environmental policy and environmental law:
    "Chinese environmental policy and environmental law"

    The Flemish Association for Environmental Law (V.V.O.R.) will host a conference which will provide valuable insights into environmental policy and law development in China.
    The conference will take place on 16th June 2009 in Brussels.
    Further information on the conference.


Date: 6th of May 2009

  • elni Forum 2009:
    The Directive on Industrial Emissions and its implementation in national law - key issues and practical experiences”
    Keir McAndrew
    , European Commission, DG Environment, Unit ENV.C.4 - Industrial Emissions & Protection of the ozone layer will participate at the elni Forum 2009 and will provide the point of view of the European Commission on the key issues.

    Please note, that the Annual Meeting of the elni Association 2009 will now take place before the elni Forum at 4:30 p.m. at the same location.
    Further information on the elni Forum and the Annual Meeting.



Date: 28th of April 2009

  • elni forum 2009:
    The Directive on Industrial Emissions and its implementation in national law - key issues and practical experiences”
    The forum will take place in from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday the 14th May 2009. The venue is the Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis (FUSL), Boulevard du Jardin botanique 43 (Metro Botanique/Rogier), 1000 Brussels, Salle du Conseil, 4th Floor.
    Subsequently, the Annual Meeting of the elni Association 2009 will take place.
    More information on the elni Forum 2009.
  • Special Announcement: ECHA Management Board
    The representative for interested parties of the ECHA Management Board and co-founder of the Environmental Law Network International – Marc Pallemaerts – is now member of the ECHA Board of Appeal. 
    In his place Martin Führ, also co-founder of elni and editor of the elni Review was nominated at 18 December 2008 by the Commission as a new member of the Management Board of the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) following his nomination by a coalition of environmental, health and consumer NGOs led by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).


Date: 31th of March 2009

  • From IPPC to IED - study published
    The study concerning the article of Marga Robesin, “From IPPC to IED: Health and environment in Europe need a stronger Directive” was published by Stichting Natuur en Milieu ( in January 2009. To get more information about the study, please visit our new elni homepage category "Recent studies".


Date: 4th of December 2008

  • elni Review issue 1/2009: Extended submission deadline
    Due to the rather short time period given for submitting articles and proposals to us for the next issue of elni Review (1/2009), we are extending the submission deadline to 15th February 2009.
  • Online promotion of leading elni Review articles: Marga Robesin, “From IPPC to IED”
    In order to better promote the original research published in elni Review, all leading articles can now be downloaded from our homepage shortly after the release of the actual issue of the elni Review.
    For the current elni Review issue 2/2008 we would like to draw your attention to the following downloadable article:
    Marga Robesin, “From IPPC to IED: Health and environment in Europe need a stronger Directive”. The article can be downloaded for free.
    We also would like to inform you of the latest news concerning the IED:
    The vote in the ENVI committee concerning IED has been delayed and is now scheduled for 21st January 2009. For more information click here.
  • elni Review issue 1/2007 and 2/2007 now available online
    The issues 1/2007 and 2/2007 are now available online and can be downloaded free of charge.



Date: 13th of November 2008

  • elni subscription in the information age
    Due to the updating of the elni Review service in accordance with new trends in the information age, we will be making the electronic version of elni Review the standard one.
    In the future, the journal will be sent to you by email in PDF format.
    If you still want to additionally receive the print version, please let us know by sending a short note to the following email address:
    This improved service (of providing the journal in two different formats) is included in the general subscription fee.
  • elni Review issue 2/2008
    The main topics of this issue are the Directives on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Here is a brief summary of the contents awaiting you:
    Articles with focus on IPPC/IED and EIA
    In “From IPPC to IED” Marga Robesin addresses the current development of the IPPC and six other directives which, it has been proposed, should be integrated in a new directive (IED).
    “Belgian environmental impact assessment systems” by Jan De Mulder traces the development of environmental impact assessment in Belgium on the federal and regional level by focusing on the SEA Directive.
    “Evaluation of the Federal German Act on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA Act)” by Kilian Bizer, Jaqui Dopfer and Martin Führ summarises the key findings of a research project concerning the analytical, process-related and institutional German settings of EIA.
    Articles with focus on other topics
    “Application of European Environmental Law by National Courts” by Luc Lavrysen examines the role of national courts in applying European environmental law in his article, providing the reader with in-depth insights from a practitioner in Belgium.
    “Enforcement of European environmental law” by Sebastian Tusch addresses the problem of inconsistency in the application of European environmental law.
    New developments in “Public participation in joint bodies for transboundary water cooperation” in Moldova and Ukraine are scrutinised by Iulia Trombitcaia in her contribution.
    Franz Fiala provides a summary of a Joint Communiqué by ANEC, ECOS and the Pacific Institute in his article, “Stakeholder representation in international environmental standardisation”.
    James K. Boyce and Michael Ash give an overview of the “Ranking corporate air polluters in the United States” in their short contribution.
    Conference reports
    Marc Pallemaerts summarises the presentations and discussions at the “Aarhus at 10” conference held at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) on the 25th June 2008. At this event the participants had the possibility of reflecting on the interaction of the Convention with EU environmental law. Please feel free to download this report.
    Nicola Below reports on the “International Workshop on Regulatory Impact Assessment” – a workshop focusing on environment-related aspects of regulatory impact assessment, which took place in Berlin (Germany) on 15th - 17th of September 2008. This report can be downloaded here.
    Book Review
    Eugene A. Wystorobets presents and reviews the new book “International Environmental Law: Fairness, Effectiveness, and World Order” by Elli Louka.
  • Call for papers
    If you are interested in publishing an article in the upcoming issue of the elni Review 1/2009, we would kindly ask you to send us proposals and articles on the main topics of the next issue: the enforcement of EU environmental law as well as environmental criminal law. Articles, reports on conferences and book reviews on other topics are also welcome.
    Please bear in mind that the editorial deadline is the 15th December 2008; so please get in touch as soon as possible.