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Brussels, 24 June 2010

Environment: Commission requests ten Member States to comply with EU legislation

The Commission is requesting ten Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Portugal, Latvia, Finland, Poland, Malta and Slovakia) to comply with EU environmental legislation in five different areas, namely prevention of floods, electrical and electronic equipment waste, water policy, management of environmental noise and landfill waste sites. The cases fall into three different categories: non-communication – the failure to adopt EU legislation at national level; non-conformity between national legislation and the requirements of EU legislation; and bad application, failing to properly apply the requirements of EU legislation. Nine of the Member States now have two months to respond to the requests, which take the form of 'reasoned opinions' under EU infringement procedures. In the case of Malta, the deadline to respond is one month. In the absence of satisfactory responses from the Member States concerned, the Commission may refer them to the EU's Court of Justice.

Non-communication of the Floods Directive

The Commission is requesting Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France and Portugal to adopt measures necessary to implement the Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks . The Directive aims 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. For such zones they would then need to draw up flood risk maps by 2013 and establish flood risk management plans focused on prevention, protection and preparedness by 2015.

Member States had to implement the Directive into national law by 26 November 2009 at the latest. Following-up late transposition of EU legislation by Member States is a priority for the Commission.

Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) - Latvia

The Commission has decided to request Latvia to properly implement Directive 2002/96 on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). The Latvian implementation measures concerning producer definition do not conform to EU legislation. According to the Directive, the producer definition should refer to the EU market concerning the production of electrical and electronic equipment rather than the national market.

Water Framework Directive – Finland and Poland

The Commission has also decided to request Finland and Poland to properly implement Directive2000/60/EC, which establishes a framework for Community action in the field of water policy. For both Member States, a significant number of issues of non-conformity with the Directive remain.

Noise Directive – Malta

The Commission has decided to request Malta to fulfil its obligations under Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise. Malta has failed to draw up strategic noise maps. The Noise Directive sets out a common approach to avoid prevent or reduce the harmful effects of exposure to environmental noise. Under the Directive, Member States are to measure environmental noise (using a standard methodology and standard indicators) to draw up strategic noise maps for major urban agglomerations, roads, airports and railways.

Landfill Directive - Slovakia

This case against Slovakia concerns a failure to properly apply the requirements of EU legislation. The case concerns the operation of the Landfill site in Považský Chlmec, near Žilina, Slovakia. The landfill is not operating in accordance with Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste. It is considered to be an “existing landfill site” under the Landfill Directive; as such specific documentation is required in order to allow it to continue operating after 16 July 2009. To date the Slovak authorities have not provided the necessary information to confirm that this documentation has been provided.

For current statistics on infringements in general see:

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