Enforcing Member State Compliance with EU Environmental Law: A Critical Evaulation of the Use of Financial Penalties

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Abstract

The 1993 Treaty on European Union finally closed a legal vacuum in
EU law, by giving the Court the power to impose financial penalties to
enforce compliance with its judgments. Today, this power is found
within Article 260(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the
European Union. Drawing upon case law, this article examines the
role that the Court’s enforcement powers have played in relation to
EU environmental law. It argues that EU law has yet to make full use
of their potential. The article commences with the Commission and
questions whether it has sufficient resources to carry out its functions
under Article 260(2). The article also examines the ongoing problem of
Member State delay in complying with Court judgments and the
weight given to environmental considerations in the Court’s decision
making on financial penalties. The article concludes by examining the
implications of the Lisbon Treaty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-95
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Environmental Law
Volume23
Issue number1
Early online date26 Nov 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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