The EU and the Aarhus Convention: Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters

17-06-2016

This briefing, commissioned by the Policy Department on Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs for the PETI committee, focuses on the Aarhus Convention, applicable to the EU and to all Member States. The Convention provides for rights to the public to access to information, participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee has found several EU Member States as well as the EU itself non-compliant with the Convention. Currently eight EU Member States and the EU are on the list of non-compliant Parties, decided by the Meeting of Parties when endorsing Committee findings. The Committee follows up and reports on whether these Parties are taking sufficient measures to get in compliance. Adequate implementation by EU legislation, monitoring by the Commission and jurisprudence by the EU judiciary are important for effective enjoyment of the Aarhus Convention rights by the public throughout the EU.

This briefing, commissioned by the Policy Department on Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs for the PETI committee, focuses on the Aarhus Convention, applicable to the EU and to all Member States. The Convention provides for rights to the public to access to information, participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee has found several EU Member States as well as the EU itself non-compliant with the Convention. Currently eight EU Member States and the EU are on the list of non-compliant Parties, decided by the Meeting of Parties when endorsing Committee findings. The Committee follows up and reports on whether these Parties are taking sufficient measures to get in compliance. Adequate implementation by EU legislation, monitoring by the Commission and jurisprudence by the EU judiciary are important for effective enjoyment of the Aarhus Convention rights by the public throughout the EU.