ERA Forum

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 551–560 | Cite as

EU Environmental Impact Assessment: frequently asked questions by domestic legal practitioners

  • Matthias KellerEmail author


Compliance with the requirements of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and/or Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is a key feature when claimants challenge big projects like power plants or wind farms. The article answers some typical questions that may arise among domestic legal practitioners. The background and the historical development of EIA/SEA is summarised. The importance of the Aarhus Convention is highlighted. A brief information on the EIA procedure, the invocability of EIA requirements and the role of an actio popularis is provided. It is shown how some Member States have to adjust their concept of subjective right or sufficient interest in order to allow NGO standing. Direct access to justice against plans and programmes may still be a problem in some Member States. However, a consistent interpretation in the light of the Aarhus Convention and/or a contextual reading and interpretation of the relevant EU law may prevent a denial of justice in the field.


Environmental Impact Assessment Strategic Environmental Assessment Questions by national practitioners Subjective rights Sufficient interest NGO standing Plans and programmes Aarhus Convention EIA Directive SEA Directive Access to justice Denial of justice 



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Copyright information

© Europäische Rechtsakademie (ERA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Verwaltungsgericht AachenAachenGermany

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