Session 5.1

How civil society can facilitate implementation of environmental laws

In collaboration with the European Economic and Social Committee

Poor and uneven implementation of environmental legislation is a notorious problem in Europe. The European Economic and Social Committee (the EESC) is therefore working on contributing concrete recommendations on how civil society, SMEs and NGOs could play a constructive role in the implementation of environmental laws. This includes ideas for the proper application and enforcement of environmental legislation that can bring not just costs, but also sometimes financial gains and may therefore be an area of particular interest in a time of sluggish economic growth.

The Commission's EIR (Environmental Implementation Review) is a starting point for dialogues with stakeholders. The EESC supports the public debate at EU level on the efforts to bridge the implementation gap. Experience shows that not only can civil society facilitate environmental legislative implementation, but also, as highlighted for example by the French Yellow Vest movement, civil society wants to have a bigger say in the definition of environmental policies.


Peter Woodward, Quest Associates