Brussels — In 2014, the Commission received its lowest number of new complaints in the area of environment since 2011. Between 2011 and 2014, the number of new EU Pilot files opened decreased further. The number of infringement cases pending at the end of 2014 was slightly lower than at the end of 2013, but the figure remains higher than in 2012, when the lowest number of cases was registered. The trend is similar for late transposition cases, according to the EU Commission 2014 Annual Report on „Monitoring the application of Union law“.
One-tenth of the 508 complaints concerned waste management (50), and 40 complaints applied to water protection and management and 60 to impact assessments. The 322 environmental infringement cases open on 31 December 2014 included one-third of waste management (102) and one-fifth water protection & management (64).
The Commission opened 174 new infringement cases in 2014, among which:
- Czech Republic: nonconformity of national transposition measures with the Waste Framework Directive;
- Germany: incorrect application of the Habitats Directive in relation to the authorisation of the coal power plant in Hamburg/Moorburg;
- Italy: failure to comply with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive in 900 agglomerations covering all of Italy’s territory;
- Spain: inadequate management of saline waste from potash extraction in central Catalonia;
The Commission also referred 11 cases to the Court under Article 258 TFEU, among others:
- Bulgaria: breach of the Landfill Directive due to the continuinoperation of numerous non-compliant landfill sites;
- Estonia: incorrect transposition of the directive on public access to environmental information;
- Germany: nonconformity with EU law of the German legislation on access to justice in environmental matters;
- Greece: failure to designate a number of zones vulnerable to nitrate pollution and failure to adopt measures to effectively combat nitrate pollution in these zones;
- Slovenia: breach of EU legislation on waste due to the operation of two illegal landfill sites;
- Spain: numerous landfills operating in breach of the Landfill Directive
Source: EU Commission