At its meeting on 4 March, the Environment
Council held a public debate on the proposed directive on
The debate in the Council focused on three main issues: the
scope of the directive, the suggested exemptions and the
During the debate it became clear that
all Member States were in favour of a clearer definition of
the scope of the directive and its expansion to include
issues such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and
injury to persons. However, clear indicators would have to
be developed to measure environmental damage.
The Ministers also agreed that
exemptions should be strictly defined, and expressed their
interest in developing community rules for financial
security, e.g. mandatory insurance schemes, to ensure that
the polluter pays, and not the society at large.