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official titleDirective 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003 on public access to environmental information and repealing Council Directive 90/313/EEC
|Number legal act||Directive 2003/4|
|CELEX number i||32003L0004|
|Publication in Official Journal||14-02-2003; Special edition in Croatian: Chapter 15 Volume 001,Special edition in Estonian: Chapter 15 Volume 007,Special edition in Latvian: Chapter 15 Volume 007,Special edition in Polish: Chapter 15 Volume 007,Special edition in Bulgarian: Chapter 15 Volume 009,Special edition in Lithuanian: Chapter 15 Volume 007,Special edition in Romanian: Chapter 15 Volume 009,Special edition in Slovenian: Chapter 15 Volume 007,Special edition in Czech: Chapter 15 Volume 007,Special edition in Hungarian: Chapter 15 Volume 007,Special edition in Maltese: Chapter 15 Volume 007,Special edition in Slovak: Chapter 15 Volume 007,OJ L 41, 14.2.2003|
|Effect||14-02-2003; Entry into force Date pub. See Art 12|
|End of validity||31-12-9999|
|Transposition||14-02-2005; At the latest See Art 10|
Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2003 on public access to environmental information and repealing Council Directive 90/313/EEC
Official Journal L 041 , 14/02/2003 P. 0026 - 0032
Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council
of 28 January 2003
on public access to environmental information and repealing Council Directive 90/313/EEC
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 175(1) thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1),
Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(2),
Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(3),
Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(4) in the light of the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee on 8 November 2002,
(1)Increased public access to environmental information and the dissemination of such information contribute to a greater awareness of environmental matters, a free exchange of views, more effective participation by the public in environmental decision-making and, eventually, to a better environment.
(2)Council Directive 90/313/EEC of 7 June 1990 on the freedom of access to information on the environment(5) initiated a process of change in the manner in which public authorities approach the issue of openness and transparency, establishing measures for the exercise of the right of public access to environmental information which should be developed and continued. This Directive expands the existing access granted under Directive 90/313/EEC.
(3)Article 8 of that Directive requires Member States to report to the Commission on the experience gained, in the light of which the Commission is required to make a report to the European Parliament and to the Council together with any proposal for revision of the Directive which it may consider appropriate.
(4)The report produced under Article 8 of that Directive identifies concrete problems encountered in the practical application of the Directive.
(5)On 25 June 1998 the European Community signed the UN/ECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters ("the Aarhus Convention"). Provisions of Community law must be consistent with that Convention with a view to its conclusion by the European Community.
(6)It is appropriate in the interest of increased transparency to replace Directive 90/313/EEC rather than to amend it, so as to provide interested parties with a single, clear and coherent legislative text.
(7)Disparities between the laws in force in the Member States concerning access to environmental information held by public authorities can create inequality within the Community as regards access to such information or as regards conditions of competition.
(8)It is necessary to ensure that any natural and legal person has a right of access to environmental information held by or for public authorities without his having to state an interest.
(9)It is also necessary that public authorities make available and disseminate environmental information to the general public to the widest extent possible, in particular by using information and communication technologies. The future development of these technologies should be taken into account in the reporting on, and reviewing of, this Directive.
(10)The definition of environmental information should be clarified so as to encompass information in any form on the state of the environment, on factors, measures or activities affecting or likely to affect the environment or designed to protect it, on cost-benefit and...
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