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Brussels, 30 September 2010

Environment: Commission requests Italy to comply with Court ruling on Waste Management Plans

The European Commission asks Italy to comply with a ruling by the European Court of Justice in the area of waste disposal. The Court ruled in 2007 that Waste Management Plans required under the Waste Framework Directive and the Hazardous Waste Directive had either not been adopted, or the existing plans were not compliant with the Directives, in certain Italian Regions and Provinces. The necessary plans were then adopted for Friuli Venezia Giulia, Puglia, Bolzano and Rimini. However, the existing planning framework in Lazio is not yet in line with EU legislation. The Commission has therefore decided to issue a Letter of Formal Notice under Article 260 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. If the necessary actions were not taken by Italian authorities, the Commission may decide take Italy back to Court and to request financial penalties.

EU Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "EU citizens have a right to a clean and healthy environment, so I urge Italy to ensure that effective legislation is brought in for waste across the country.”

Waste Management Plans – an essential tool

The Waste Framework Directive (2006/12/EC) is Europe's main piece of waste legislation, codifying basic waste management principles such as the "polluter pays principle" and the "waste hierarchy". Waste Management Plans are a fundamental requirement of the Directive, as they are an essential tool to ensure that a sound waste management network is established throughout the Member States' territory.

Waste Management Plans cover areas such as the type, quantity and origin of waste to be recovered and disposed of, suitable disposal sites and installations, and measures to encourage rationalisation of the collection, sorting and treatment of waste.

Specific requirements concerning management plans for hazardous waste are also laid down in the Hazardous Waste Directive (91/689/EEC).

Three years after the Court found that Italy was lacking Waste Management Plans for a number of areas, Lazio, in Central Italy, does still not have a plan that complies with the Waste Framework Directive. Italy had committed itself to adopting a comprehensive new Waste management plan by the end of 2009, but significant delays have occurred and the adoption procedures for the plan have still not been completed.

As a result, the ruling by the Court of Justice has not yet been complied with. The Commission has therefore decided to send Italy a second letter of formal notice.

For current statistics on infringements in general see:

More details on waste policy:


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