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The Enforcement of EC Environmental Law$
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Pål Wennerås

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199229017

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199229017.001.0001

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Enforcement by the Commission

Enforcement by the Commission

(p.251) 6 Enforcement by the Commission
The Enforcement of EC Environmental Law

Pål Wennerås

Oxford University Press

The Commission plays a significant role in enforcing EC environmental law, yet the number of cases it brings does not necessarily prove that this enforcement is correspondingly effective. On the contrary, the repetitive nature of infringement proceedings implies that it is not effective, and that it lacks deterrent effect. This hypothesis is examined, starting with the Commission's monitoring powers and the anatomy of infringement proceedings. The chapter then analyzes the effectiveness of Article 226 EC proceedings in light of new developments in the case law, and the recent invigoration of Article 228 EC. It also covers the administrative and political factors that influence its operation in practice. The rights of private parties in infringement proceedings are assessed, because many of the Commission's actions are instigated after individual complaints. It then compares the Commission's vigilance to ensure compliance with environmental law by Community institutions and its policy vis-à-vis Member States. Finally, it looks at the complementary role of private enforcement.

Keywords:   European Community law, environmental law, Article 226 EC, Article 228 EC

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