Journal Article

Enforcing Member State Compliance with EU Environmental Law: A Critical Evaluation of the Use of Financial Penalties

Brian Jack

in Journal of Environmental Law

Volume 23, issue 1, pages 73-95
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 0952-8873
Published online November 2010 | e-ISSN: 1464-374X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jel/eqq023
Enforcing Member State Compliance with EU Environmental Law: A Critical Evaluation of the Use of Financial Penalties

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The 1993 Treaty on European Union finally closed a legal vacuum in EU law, by giving the Court the power to impose financial penalties to enforce compliance with its judgments. Today, this power is found within Article 260(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Drawing upon case law, this article examines the role that the Court’s enforcement powers have played in relation to EU environmental law. It argues that EU law has yet to make full use of their potential. The article commences with the Commission and questions whether it has sufficient resources to carry out its functions under Article 260(2). The article also examines the ongoing problem of Member State delay in complying with Court judgments and the weight given to environmental considerations in the Court’s decision making on financial penalties. The article concludes by examining the implications of the Lisbon Treaty.

Keywords: European Court of Justice; judgments; non-compliance; penalty payments; lump sum penalties; Article 260(2) TFEU

Journal Article.  10016 words. 

Subjects: Environment and Energy Law

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