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Parliamentary questions
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29 August 2018
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-004056/2018

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive 2001/42/EC(1) regards the environmental assessment of plans and programmes falling within the scope of this directive. It is therefore not directly applicable to individual projects, but only at a planning level.

The objective of the SEA Directive is to provide for a high level of protection of the environment and to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of plans and programmes. It follows that the environmental report, to be prepared in the context of the full SEA procedure, has to cover, inter alia, the likely significant effects of the respective plan/programme on landscape and water.

Due account must be given to the fact that, according to Article 3(3) of the directive, town and country plans, which determine the use of small areas at local level, as well as minor modifications to these plans, require a full SEA procedure only where Member States determine that these plans are likely to have significant environmental effects (the so-called ‘SEA screening’).

It is therefore for the national administrative and/or judicial authorities to verify whether the specific plan mentioned by the Honourable Member meets the requirements provided for in Articles 2(a) and 3(2) of the directive, which set the grounds for its application. Should the directive be applicable, the competent national authorities must take into account, within the SEA procedure, the potential impacts of the plan on the environment.

Finally, it is for the national competent authorities to assess the compatibility of the SEA procedure for this plan with the national SEA legislation (i.e. the Legislative Decree 152/2006).

(1)On the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment OJ L 197, 21.7.2001, p. 30‐37.

Last updated: 30 August 2018Legal notice