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Environmental Impact Assessments: Revision failed to tackle major shortcomings

13 March 2014
by EUROCHAMBRES -- last modified 13 March 2014

EUROCHAMBRES had mixed feelings about today’s adoption of the revised Directive on Environmental Impact Assessments by the European Parliament. Although, a further tightening of the provisions could largely be prevented, the European Commission’s initial target of simplifying procedures has clearly been missed.

Commenting on today's vote, Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary General of EUROCHAMBRES stated: "The original directive already necessitates long and bureaucratic authorisation procedures and any additional requirement risks to cause a decline in infrastructure projects and thus reduce job and growth creation opportunities. Therefore, we are relieved that MEPs and Member States understood the issues at stake, and rejected a number of proposals with adverse effects on the European economy."

 "However, we regret that this revision did not respect the general and positive trend of minimising regulatory burdens for businesses. In the end, Environmental Impact Assessments have retained their character as bureaucratic obstacle race", concluded Mr Abruzzini.

With regard to future law-making, EUROCHAMBRES urges policy makers to ensure a balance between environmental and economic aspects, to align legal requirements with principles of smart regulation and to drop unnecessary burdens for businesses.

EUROCHAMBRES - The Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry represents over 20 million enterprises in Europe - 98% of which are SMEs - through members in 43 countries and a European network of 1700 regional and local Chambers.