Select Committee on European Communities Second Report


Call for Evidence




Invitation to submit evidence

Environmental Policy: Monitoring, Enforcement and Transparency

Sub-Committee C invites evidence for a new enquiry, which will build on a number of recurrent themes from recent work of the Sub-Committee and its precursors. The terms of reference are:

    To consider further the monitoring and enforcement of Community environmental policy, with particular reference to: the roles of the European Environment Agency, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the public; the use of scientific and other expert advice; and the transparency and public credibility of the Community's decision-making processes.

For this purpose the Sub-Committee will consider relevant aspects of two current proposals from the Commission:

5641/96 COM(95)647 finalProposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Review of the European Community Programme of Policy and Action in relation to the Environment and Sustainable Development Towards Sustainability;
4163/96 COM(95)573 final Proposal for a Council Decision on a Community Action Programme promoting Non-governmental Organisations primarily active in the field of Environmental Protection.

In addition, the Sub-Committee hopes to be in a position to take into account a Communication from the Commission, expected in the autumn, on enforcement of Community law.

Within the overriding terms of reference, the Sub-Committee invites evidence on the following matters:

    (1)  the monitoring and enforcement of environmental legislation to ensure comparability, consistent with subsidiarity-in particular the developing role of the European Environment Agency in standard setting, data collection, monitoring and evaluation; and the Agency's relationship with the Commission;

    (2)  the transparency of the Community Institutions' decision-making processes in the environmental field, including the handling of scientific evidence and the use of appointed expert advisers; the citizen's right of access to information on those processes; and the role of NGOs and the public in policy making, decision taking and enforcement of environmental legislation; and

    (3)  the practical implications, in the context of (1) and (2), of greater integration of environmental considerations with other Community policies.

Since one of the purposes of the enquiry will be to review progress in areas previously reported on, the Sub-Committee invites witnesses to relate their evidence, where relevant, to the following reports of the Select Committee:

    Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Legislation (March 1992) (9th Report, 1991-92, HL Paper 53);

    Fifth Environmental Action Programme: Integration of Community Policies (October 1992) (8th Report, 1992-93, HL Paper 27); and

    European Environment Agency (February 1995) (5th Report, 1994-95, HL Paper 29).

Distribution of invitation

This invitation is being sent in the first instance to the organisations listed in the Annex. Recipients are welcome to suggest others who might be interested in submitting evidence.


To enable the Sub-Committee to begin work as soon as possible after the completion of its current enquiry, submissions should be sent to the Clerk not later than Friday 25 October 1996. Meanwhile, it would be helpful if all recipients of this invitation could let the Clerk know, not later than Monday 2 September 1996, whether or not they plan to submit evidence.

The address for submissions is:

      Mr T E Radice
      Clerk to Sub-Committee C
      European Communities Committee
      House of Lords
      London SW1A 0PW

      Telephone  0171-219 3015
      Fax    0171-219 6715

It would be appreciated if all written evidence of more than 300 words could be submitted with numbered paragraphs (using whatever numbering system is most convenient).

  24 July 1996

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