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Directive 2014/52/eu: big step forward or merely minimum consensus? – an attempt to evaluate the new eu-regulations on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment

Christoph MAYER


The Directive 2014/52/EU, which the EU Member States will have to implement by 16 May 2017 at the latest, amends the existing Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (the so-called Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, in short: EIA Directive) to a considerable extent. Taking into account the amendments suggested by the Commission in its underlying proposal, this paper presents the main
legal innovations caused by the EIA amending directive and on this basis attempts to evaluate the new provisions from an EU environmental law perspective. By this means, it will be shown that the Directive 2014/52/EU on the one hand does not represent the desired big step forward in creating a viable Union law regime of EIA, but on the other hand has to be seen as more than a mere minimum consensus of the Member States in this field, so that in the end the willingness of the Member States to ambitiously implement the EIA amending directive will be the critical factor for success for this EU legislative act.