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PR(06)08: Iceland and Liechtenstein fail to implement rules on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment


The EFTA Surveillance Authority today delivered reasoned opinions both to Iceland and Liechtenstein due to their failure to ensure implementation of Directive 2001/42/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2001 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment.

Iceland and Liechtenstein should have implemented the Directive before 21 July 2004.

The purpose of Directive 2001/42/EC, the so-called SEA Directive, is to ensure that environmental consequences of certain plans and programmes are identified and assessed during their preparation and before their adoption. Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) aims to contribute to more transparent planning by involving the public and by integrating environmental considerations. The public and environmental authorities can give their opinion and all results are integrated and taken into account in the course of the planning procedure. After the adoption of the plan or programme the public is informed about the decision and the way in which it was made. In the case of likely transboundary significant effects the affected State and its public are informed and have the possibility to make comments which are also integrated into the national decision making process.

The purpose of the Authority’s reasoned opinions is to give the States in question a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides whether to bring the matter before the EFTA Court. Iceland and Liechtenstein have been given two months to take the measures necessary to comply with the reasoned opinions.

For further information, please contact:
Mr. Hallgrímur Ásgeirsson
Director, Internal Market Affairs Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 60

1 March 2006

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