Environmental liability: debate on mandatory financial security is not closed

On 26 September 2003, the Commission published
its stance on the Council’s common position starting the
process for the second reading in the Parliament on the draft
directive on environmental liability.

On 18 september 2003, the Council formally adopted its
common position on the draft directive on environmental
liability based on the political agreement reached in June
2003. (See
EURACTIV, 16 June 2003


The Commission, in a Communication dated 26 September,
considers that the Council's common position aims to
simplify the procedures and clarify the concepts necessary
to the good functioning of an environmental liability
regime and will ease the implementation of the

The point on which the Common Position differs the most
from the Commission proposal concerns the issue of orphan
damage, that is those cases in which no operator will
remedy environmental damage. The Commission proposal
required Member States to find alternative sources of
financing; the Common Position now leaves full discretion
to Member States to decide to act or not.

As regards the hotly debated issue of financial
security, the Council agreed that the Commission may submit
proposals for mandatory financial security based on its
assessment of the implementation of the directive. The
Commission is requested to produce a report on the
effectiveness of the Directive in terms of actual
remediation of environmental damages, on the availability
at reasonable costs and on conditions of insurance.



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