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Internal Market: Iceland must improve access to justice in environmental matters



EN | IS 

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has found that Icelandic law does not provide for the possibility to challenge the substantive or procedural legality of certain omissions related to assessing the effects of projects on the environment. This is the conclusion of a reasoned opinion delivered by ESA today. 

ESA considers that Iceland has not fully implemented Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment. The Directive provides for wide ranging access to justice in environmental matters. According to the Directive, the public concerned, which includes non-governmental organisations promoting environmental protection, shall have access to a review procedure to challenge the substantive or procedural legality of certain decisions, acts or omissions related to the Directive.

 ESA has found that Icelandic law does not provide access to such a review procedure for omissions. This means that should a public authority fail to take a decision that is legally required, the public concerned would have no remedy available under Icelandic law.

 The Authority reached this conclusion following an own-initiative investigation into certain aspects of the implementation of the Directive into Icelandic law. 

 A reasoned opinion is the second stage in infringement proceedings. The Authority may bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Iceland fails to take the measures necessary to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months.


For further information, please contact:

 Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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