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IP/10/1423

Brussels, 28 October 2010

Environment: France taken to Court and Luxembourg given warning over failure to notify flooding legislation

The Commission is asking France and Luxembourg to comply with EU environmental legislation in the area of flood prevention. Both Member States have failed to inform the Commission about the transposition of this legislation, which should have been in place by November 2009. At the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission has decided to take France to Court over its failure to transpose the legislation and to send a reasoned opinion to Luxembourg to which it will have two months to respond.

The Commission is taking France to the Court of Justice over its failure to adequately transpose EU legislation about flooding prevention and risk management. France was sent a letter of formal notice in January of this year, followed by a reasoned opinion in June. After examining its reply, the Commission has concluded that France's flooding legislation contains a number of shortcomings. This Member State is therefore being taken to Court.

Luxembourg is receiving a reasoned opinion for its failure to inform the European Commission about measures it is taking to transpose this legislation. If appropriate action is not taken by the Luxembourg authorities, the Commission may decide to refer the case to Court.

Background

Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks is intended to reduce and manage the risks that floods pose to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity. The Directive requires Member States to carry out a preliminary assessment by 2011 to identify the river basins and associated coastal areas at risk of flooding. Flood risk maps are then to be drawn up for such zones by 2013, with flood risk management plans following two year later, by 2015. The risk maps focus on prevention, protection and preparedness.

Member States had until November 2009 to implement the Directive into national law and inform the Commission. Following up late transposition of EU legislation by Member States is a priority for the Commission.

For current statistics on infringements in general see:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/implementation_en.htm

More details on water policy: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/index_en.htm

MEMO/10/530


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