Strengthening of environmental protection – Amendment of environmental damage law – The Federal Government plans to amend the law, by Valentin Schulte, stud.iur, economist, Dr. Schulte and Team Attorneys, Berlin
The Federal Government submitted to the Bundestag a draft law amending the Environmental Damage Act, the Environmental Information Act and other environmental regulations. The Federal Government thus fulfills the obligation resulting from the Regulation EU 2019/1010 of the European Parliament on the harmonization of reporting obligations in the environmental field, which entered into force in June 2019.
The consequence of the regulation was the obligation of the individual member states to inform the European Commission at regular intervals about any environmental incidents that may occur. According to the Federal Government, in order to implement this technically in Germany, it is necessary to collect the relevant information at the federal level. For this reason, the draft law of the Environmental Damage Act is to oblige the states to transmit this data to the federal government.
European Union – directives and regulations
The European Union is an association of states that has its own legislative competence. Directives are to be distinguished from regulations. Directives must be transposed by the individual states into their own law. Regulations – such as the General Data Protection Regulation – apply directly in all signatory states.
If a state fails to comply with the rules and standards of the European Union, infringement proceedings can be initiated. The preliminary stage of an infringement procedure is the so-called pilot procedure. This proceeds as follows: First, the Commission sends a letter of formal notice to the respective member state. The Commission then explains to the Member State in a reasoned opinion why, in its opinion, there has been an infringement of Community law. The Member State then has the opportunity to respond to the allegations. If the pilot procedure does not lead to a solution, the Commission will then refer the matter to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). European law is considered complex because of the different language styles and the nature of compromise. However, it is of paramount importance for the internal legislation of the Member States of the European Union.
Valentin Markus Schulte
Economist, stud. iur
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