On 21 May, the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee organised a public hearing for stakeholders to give their opinion on the Commission’s proposal on environmental liability.
The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee held a public hearing in order to give its rapporteurs input for the drafting of the opinion. The Commission’s proposal is a difficult legal text that can have far-reaching consequences for companies, public authorities and NGOs. The main issues of debate are:
- The scope of the directive: definitions of what damage to biodiversity entails, what activities to include and in what form, etc.;
- Exemptions of the directive: the proposal exempts activities with a license or permit, and small scale activities;
- How damage should be assessed: questions arise concerning the baseline data to depart from, the reliability of cost-benefit analysis, calculations of non-use values etc;
- Access to justice: the proposal suggests that public law should apply and that NGOs could bring action in certain cases;
- Insurability of activities: the proposal is highlighting the need for some form of financial security, but should the costs be covered by mandatory insurances, funds or other schemes?