Justice & Environment (J&E) is a pan-European network of (non-governmental) environmental law organizations. The network aims for better legislation and implementation of environmental law on the national and European Union (EU) stage to protect the environment, people and nature. In addition to EELC, the network consists of nine full members and three partner organizations from different European countries.
EELC has participated in J&E and its activities since 2008. The activities of the network in 2013 were supported by the European Commission LIFE+ NGO operating grant. EELC participated in the following topic areas:
- environmental rights;
- environmental impact assessment;
- environmental liability;
- climate change;
- land use planning.
In the field of environmental rights the focus was on drafting of EU Access to Justice Directive and the preparation for a meeting of Aarhus Convention parties (MOP) in 2014. In its previous studies the network had identified several problems regarding access to justice and other Aarhus Convention rights (access to environmental information, right to participate in environmental decision-making). To find the solutions to these problems, J&E participated in the above processes with its proposals.
In the field of environmental impact assessment the EU level rules (EIA Directive) were being revised. Similarly to environmental rights, the network and its members have long-term experience in the implementation of legislation, its strengths and weaknesses. Based on this, J&E contributed to the process of revision of the EIA Directive with its own proposals.
Revision of EU rules on environmental liability are planned to take place in 2014. As J&E planned to actively participate in this process, the transposition of ELD Directive in the EU member states was analyzed in 2013. The survey focused on the scope of application of ELD rules. Survey is found here.
Regarding climate change, the focus in 2013 was on energy, specifically on use of renewable energy resources and their promotion. With the help of its members the network prepared a comparative analysis of the existing rules and other measures applied in the area of renewable energy in different member states.
Land use planning was a new topic for J&E. To select the future focus within this topic, the challenges and main features of the existing regulations in member states were charted and and analyzed. The analysis can be found here. In the next years, more specific issues would be focused on to impact both national and EU level laws and practice.
EELC participated in activities of J&E by collecting and analyzing information on Estonian regulation and its application. On the basis of the information received from the different member states, J&E prepared its comparative analyses and formed positions to impact the EU-level policy and legislation. Together with its partner organizations (EEB, ClientEarth) J&E provided information to the European Commission and Parliament on the application of EU law and its challenges in the member states. Through these steps, solutions to better protect the environment are sought and found.
All comparative analyses of J&E and analyses of EELC are available on the website: http://www.k6k.ee/portfolio