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Parliamentary questions
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5 October 2018
Question for written answer E-005103-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Thomas Waitz (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  Proposed amendment to the Austrian Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfungsgesetz [Environmental Impact Assessment Act] (UVP-G 2000)
 Answer in writing 

On 4 October, in the National Council’s Environment Committee, the Austrian governing parties agreed additional changes to the amendment to the Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfungsgesetz (UVP-G). These changes will ban environmental NGOs from participating in EIA procedures if they have fewer than 100 official members. As only a few of the currently recognised NGOs currently fulfil this criterion, this would considerably reduce the number of authorised NGOs and therefore public participation.

The government cites Sweden as an example of a similar legal solution; however, unlike Sweden, Austria does not grant any alternative access to NGOs which do not fulfil the criterion of 100 members. Moreover, the amendment to the UVP-G would also exclude environmental NGOs from procedures beyond EIA procedures, such as IPPC (Directive 2008/1/EC) and IE procedures (Directive 2010/75/EC), as well as procedures pursuant to the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC).

1. Does the Commission consider the proposed amendment to be admissible and in accordance with the EIA Directive (2011/92/EU)?

2. Does the Commission consider the proposed amendment to be in accordance with the IPPC and IE Directives, as well as the Habitats and Birds Directives (2009/147/EC)?

3. Does the Commission consider the proposed amendment to be in accordance with Articles 9(2), 9(3) and 9(4) of the Aarhus Convention which, according to the judgments of the ECJ in Cases C‐243/15, C-664/15 and others, have influence over the EU’s environmental Directives?

Original language of question: DE 
Last updated: 16 October 2018Legal notice