Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024
  • More types of administrative acts to be covered
  • Commission to publish implications for state aid by end of 2022
  • The cost of the review process should be limited

An informal agreement was reached with the Council to bring the EU in line with its international obligations under the Aarhus Convention.

On Monday evening, MEPs reached an informal agreement with member states on amending the Aarhus Regulation. The revision of the Aarhus Regulation aims to ensure that EU administrative acts are in line with green goals.

Easier access to review

Groups of individuals consisting of at least 4000 citizens including at least 250 from each of five member states, who have specific concerns about certain administrative acts’ compatibility with environmental law, will now also be able to request a review of administrative decisions for their conformity with environmental law. Until now, this was only possible for recognised NGOs.

Additionally, the costs of the review process should be limited in order to enable NGOs and groups of individuals to benefit from more affordable access to justice. To ensure this, EU institutions will only request reimbursement for reasonable costs in such proceedings.

More administrative acts to be covered

Today, it is only possible to request a review of administrative acts, which specifically contribute to the pursuit of environmental policy objectives. With this deal, any administrative act that contravenes EU environmental law may be subject to review, irrespective of its policy objectives.

As far as state aid is concerned, the Commission will publish an analysis of the implications of the findings of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee by the end of 2022 on the need to provide citizens with access to administrative or judicial procedures and if appropriate come forward with measures to address the issues by the end of 2023.

Scope of access to environmental justice widened

Currently, an environmental review of an administrative act can only be requested for acts of ‘individual scope’ (which directly concern a person). In the future, it will be possible to request a review for any non-legislative administrative act of ‘general scope’.


Rapporteur Christian Doleschal (EPP, DE) said: “This deal will ensure the EU’s compliance with its international obligations. Our solutions ensure respect for the EU treaties and provide legal certainty. We clarified that court proceedings should not be prohibitively expensive. We increased transparency. We averted the danger of an “actio popularis” where any citizen can put a stop to major EU projects and decisions via an administrative review that was intended to be a purely supplementary legal remedy. All in all, this was a very positive outcome.”

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