FAQs on the effort sharing regulation (ESR) and access to justice
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The EU Commission in their Communication on Improving Access to Justice 2020 committed to bringing forward access to justice clauses in all new legislative proposals which might concern environmental matters. This was recognised as required by international law and the EU Green Deal. Yet the Commission have consistently failed to do this in all proposals brought forward under the Fit for 55 work package, leaving it to the EU Parliament MEPs to fight both the EU Commission and the Council for inclusion of such provisions in each new legislative proposal. The ESR is no different, with the EU Commission proposal being notably deficient in access to justice provisions, and the EP yet again being forced to remedy this situation by proposing an access to justice amendment (among other amendments) on the 8th June 2022 (see Appendix to this document). This legislation is now in trilogue, and the EP are fighting to keep the access to justice clause in the proposal. Whether the Member States’ Ministers on the Council, and the EU Commission will also adopt a similar stance and move into compliance with the EU’s international law obligations remains to be seen. This briefing sets out to answer some key questions that have arisen in the negotiations regarding access to justice rights and their place in the ESR.
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