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Parliamentary questions
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24 March 2020
Answer given by Mr Sinkevičius
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-000741/2020

1. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive(1) requires that the public concerned is given early and effective opportunities to participate in the environmental decision-making, before the development consent is granted. In case of project authorisation comprising several stages, if the project’s impacts become apparent in the course of a later stage, they have to be assessed and taken into consideration when finally authorising the project(2). In that respect, Article 6(3) point (c) of the EIA Directive clearly requires that information relevant for decision-making that becomes available after the initial public consultation was held is made available to the public concerned.

2. The primary responsibility for correctly implementing EC law lies with Member States. The national courts also have to provide effective judicial protection to citizens seeking protection against national measures that are incompatible with EC law.

As guardian of the Treaties, the Commission prioritises in particular enforcement action related to incorrect transposition of Directives(3), as correct transposition is a precondition for lawful application of EC law by national authorities in individual cases. The Commission has recently assessed transposition of the EIA Directive 2011/92/EU as amended by Directive 2014/52/EU in all Member States, including Finland. As a result, an infringement procedure was initiated in November 2019 with the aim to ensure that Finnish legislation correctly transposes the EIA Directive, including its provisions on public participation(4).

(1)Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment Text with EEA relevance, OJ L 124, 25.4.2014, p. 1‐18.
(2)Judgment in Case C-201/02, Wells, §§52-53.
(3)Communication from the Commission EC law: Better results through Better Application (OJ C 18, 19.1.2017).
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