Modernise EU environmental liability rules for companies


The EPP Group wants to strike a balance between environmental protection and legitimate business concerns. The European Parliament will debate today and adopt recommendations tomorrow on how to modernise the existing EU rules on businesses’ environmental liability. The aim is to reduce risks and prevent harm for protected species and habitats, surface and ground water and soil.

“After almost 20 years, it is time to modernise the Directive on Environmental Liability and transform it into a Regulation that aims at prevention and risk reduction”, said Antonius Manders MEP, Parliament's negotiator of the recommendations. “Our companies need legal certainty, the same rules across the entire EU and a more harmonised enforcement. This is why we propose setting up an EU Environmental Liability Task Force consisting of experts to help Member States, upon their request, with the implementation of the new rules”, Manders added.

Furthermore, Mander's recommendations propose training programmes for judges and practitioners on the specificities of environmental crimes at EU and national level. It also underlines the polluter-pays principle. “It is important that in the case of environmental damage, the costs are not footed by the taxpayers in the end”, stated Manders.

“Our broad consensus on taking the issue of environmental liability seriously sends a strong signal to the European Commission. I call on the Commission to come forward swiftly with a legislative proposal that includes our priorities”, he concluded.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

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Legal & home affairs