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Red-throated Diver / Gavia stellata Photographer Lars Soerink

Compliance with EU environmental law is crucial to achieve politically agreed environmental and climate policy targets and should be a non-negotiable baseline.

Currently, the implementation of cornerstone environmental legislation by Member States is poor, even decades after it entered into force, and enforcement action by the Commission is notoriously slow. It often takes years to process a well-founded complaint, sometimes only to then close it without providing reasons, or sometimes lacking entirely. During this time, the environment
continues to deteriorate as does the trust in the institutions and the rule of law.

Member States and the European Parliament have repeatedly called for better enforcement and the Commission President herself made tighter enforcement part of her political guidelines and mission letters. At a time of deep ecological crisis, half-way through von der Leyen’s time to deliver on her promise of swifter enforcement and with the Green Deal in full swing, it is time for a true “Better Compliance” agenda. We provide eight actionable and tangible recommendations for how to get there.

Image credits: Red-throated Diver / Gavia stellata by Lars Soerink

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