chapter  3
18 Pages

The European Directive on EIA

The Treaty of Rome, dating from 1957, contained no reference to environmental policy but this oversight was addressed in the Paris Declaration on the Environment in 1972 (the year the UK, Ireland and Denmark joined the original six member states of the European Union (EU). The Commission of the European Communities (CEC) published its first Action Programme on the Environment in 1973, justifying this on harmonisation and competition grounds. From that time, a trickle of environmental legislation has become a stream, covering water and air pollution, waste disposal, control of chemicals, noise, wildlife protection, recycling and packaging, and environmental impact assessment (Bell and McGillivray, 2000). EU legislation is directly applicable in national courts (regulations) or binding on government as to the ends to be achieved (directives) without the need for ratification. Furthermore, the Commission has a duty to enforce EU legislation, eventually bringing matters to the European Court ofJustice if necessary (Haigh, 1991 ; Kramer, 2000).