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Implementation of the EU Directive on EIA

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council, on the Application and Effectiveness of the EIA Directive (Directive 85/337/EEC as amended by Directive 97/11/EC). Read the full report on the EU website.

How successful are the (EU) Member States in implementing the EIA Directivethat could jeopardize the fulfilment of those recommendations.

Report published 23 June 2003

Summary of findings with respect to the Espoo Convention provisions included in the EU Directive (from section 4.5 of the report):

"There is a need, in the Commission's view, for better formal and informal arrangements for consultation on transboundary impacts with neighbouring countries, and a need to ensure that those arrangements are practical. A need has also been identified for an improvement in the current intraregional procedures of some countries. More precise auditing arrangements are needed, to provide reliable information on the number, type and outcome of transboundary projects."

Recommendations with respect to the Espoo Convention provisions:

"In the transboundary context Member States should make more use of guidance provided by the UNECE on bi- and multilateral agreements and the practicalities of transboundary EIA (see UNECE web page: www.unece.org/env/eia). The Commission considers that this will help ensure that adequate provisions are in place, for instance for direct contact between the relevant competent authorities and other agencies for consultation on transboundary effects."

There are additional, more general, findings and recommendations with respect to public participation. The main finding was that:

"Throughout the EU the public is given an opportunity to comment on the projects that are subject to EIA. The extent of public involvement varies considerably and the interpretation of "the public concerned" varies from quite narrow to wide. The survey revealed that certain projects are more likely to generate high levels of participation. Given the large variety of project types covered by the Directive, the different consent systems used for different types of project and the different levels of interest they generate, it is not surprising that there is no standard practice of public participation across the EU."