European Energy and Environmental Law Review

Volume 15 (2006)

Volume 15 (2006) / Issue 11

Martin Hedemann-Robinson, 'Article 228(2) EC and the Enforcement of EC Environmental Law: A Case of Environmental Justice Delayed and Denied? An Analysis of Recent Legal Developments' (2006) 15 European Energy and Environmental Law Review, Issue 11, pp. 312–342


This article considers the impact of the infringement action under Art. 228(2) of the EC Treaty in assisting in the enforcement of EC environmental law. Its entry into force in November 1993 introduced for the first time in EC law the possibility of financial sanctions being imposed on EU Member States by the European Court of Justice over persistent failures on their part to adhere to Community law. One might have thought that Member State performance on implementing EC environmental legislation would have improved as a result, the threat of substantial financial sanctions serving as an effective deterrent against non-compliant state behaviour. However, experience has indicated that any initial optimism in the new infringement procedure has been misplaced in this regard. The evidence suggests that in many instances Member States have not been deterred continuing to delay or obstruct the correct implementation of EC environmental obligations into national law and practice. In analysing the evolution of law and practice of the procedure and in particular its impact on litigation over breaches of environmental law over the last decade, this article questions whether the penalty infringement procedure under Art. 228(2) has proved itself fit for purpose.

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ISSN: 0966-1646
ID: EELR2006033