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The EU Continues to Violate the Aarhus Convention and International Law!


The European Commission is not adhering to the Aarhus Convention because it has not ensured adequate legislation for public participation in the development of national climate plans.

The Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee published a report last week, thoroughly examining the European Commission's progress in fulfilling its obligations for public participation in the review of National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs).

Members of the Aarhus Convention called out the EU back in 2014 for inadequate public participation in NECPs. Ten years later, the latest report paints a bleak picture of minimal progress.

Despite minor advancements, the key issue remains: the Commission has not established a robust regulatory framework for implementing public participation in NECPs. Member states largely have the freedom to exclude public input.

The next Aarhus Convention meeting is in 2025, with another progress report due in October 2024. EU compliance seems unlikely, prolonging a decade-old violation of international law.

The Commission risks further diplomatic embarrassment by continuing to procrastinate on serious rule-of-law issues. In an era where energy security and prices are major concerns for citizens, disregarding public opinion on EU energy policy is a misstep.

What happens at the EU level is mirrored nationally. The drafting of Croatia's climate plan has been non-transparent from the start, with public participation being merely a formality. We have yet to see the revised version of the plan.

It's time to stop treating public participation as a gesture of goodwill and start treating it as a necessity.

Read the full report at the link.

*The Aarhus Convention is the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters.

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