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gabby1283 Jul 16, 2013 04:53 PM
I am a law student in America and am wondering about environmental law and NGO's. Is it possible for NGO's to sue companies that implement building projects that harm the environment? If so, are there any relevant cases?
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EEA Jul 17, 2013 01:05 PM
Hi Gabrielle,

Thanks for your question about environmental law.

Based on your enquiry, I am not sure how familiar you are with the EEA’s working remit. I have therefore included a brief description of it below.

The EEA aims to support the development and implementation of sound environmental policies in the EU and other EEA member countries by delivering timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information to policy-makers and the public. This is accomplished by collecting environmental data through Eionet (the European Environmental Information and Observation Network). Eionet is a network of environmental bodies and institutions active in the EEA member countries. Based on the compiled data the EEA produces environmental reports and indicators, which assist the European Community in its attempt to improve the environment and move towards sustainability in Europe.

For additional information about the activities of the agency, please see the following website:
http://www.eea.europa.eu/
 
As you may see from this description, the EEA produces reports on the state and trends of the environment in Europe. Please be aware that European environmental legislation is beyond the Agency’s working remit. The EEA neither sets nor enforces environmental policies.

Nevertheless, I have gathered some information that I believe may be useful to you.

The EU Commission has the responsibility of making new legislative proposals. These proposals are then adopted by the Council and the parliament, and implemented in the Member States by the national authorities. The Commission has the responsibility of overseeing that Member States act in accordance with EU law. The role of the EEA is to supply all parties concerned with relevant environmental information.

The “Summaries of EU legislation” website presents the main aspects of EU legislation in a concise, easy-to-read and unbiased way. You can find the section on environmental legislation at:
http://europa.eu/[…]/index_en.htm
 
If you wish to follow developments of pending legislation, you can access the Legislative Observatory at:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/home/home.do
 
European Commission.

The European Commission is divided into 36 Directorate Generals (DGs). DG Environment is the branch of the Commission responsible for European environmental policy and legislation. The homepage of the DG Environment is located at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/

If the above mentioned websites do not provide you with sufficient information, you may also contact the DG Environment directly. Relevant contact details can be viewed at:
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/contact/contact_en.htm

National authorities.

Since the individual countries are responsible for implementing EU policies, you may find it useful to contact the responsible national authorities in the countries of your interest. For practical examples on how EU legislation is implemented into national law, I suggest that you contact the national authorities in the countries of your interest. Relevant contact links to European national authorities can be obtained at: http://www.asser.nl/Default.aspx?site_id=7&level1=12222



 
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