EU Parliament seals environmental liability compromise

The Parliament endorsed on 31 March the deal
struck with the Council on environmental liability. Green NGOs
have criticised the bill for being too weak as it leaves out
compulsory insurances schemes.

The European Parliament endorsed on 31 March the
conciliation agreement clinched with the Council of
Ministers on the proposed environmental liability
directive. The bill is an attempt to make companies pay for
the environmental damage they may cause as well as to take
measures to prevent the damage from happening in the first
place (for a complete overview of the directive, check our
newly updated


A compromise was found on this heavily disputed dossier
late in February after concessions were made to insurance
companies that they would not be compelled to cover the
costs of environmental clean-up operations. The deal was
immediately criticised by environmental NGOs, who said the
directive lacked teeth (see

February 2004


The EU Council of Ministers will vote on the directive
on 28-29 June. Member States will then have three years –
starting from the date of its publication in the Official
Journal – to implement the directive.


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