Slovakia reacts to the EC lawsuit for violation of the Directive on landfills
The Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic (MŽP SR) takes note of the decision of the European Commission to file a lawsuit against the Slovak Republic at the Court of Justice of the European Union for a consistent directive on landfills and the measures being prepared to solve the situation. In the lawsuit, the European Commission points to the fact that the Slovak Republic since 2004 did not reclaim and close 21 waste landfills that did not meet the requirements of the directive. About whether from the party The Slovak Republic has violated its obligations arising from treaties and relevant directives, the Court of Justice of the European Union will decide. If such violations are found, it is obliged to take corrective measures to comply with the judgment of the Court of Justice. Any financial sanctions by the European Commission will not be the subject of current proceedings at the European Court of Justice.
Acting Minister of the Environment Jána Budaj draws attention to the fact that filing a lawsuit at the Court of Justice of the Union is not related to the performance of activities of the ministry under his leadership, but is the result of long-term neglect of waste management in Slovakia.
“We are fully aware of the shortcomings that Slovakia has in the area of waste management. The inaction of the former governments had a significant impact on the current state. Sufficient attention was not paid to the consistent sorting of waste or recycling, for which citizens are starting to pay significantly more,” Center Budaj. According to Minister Budaj, the operation of waste landfills in the past did not have strict and transparent rules, due to which landfill operators were often also mailbox companies based in tax havens or companies registered on the so-called white horses. In many cases, these entities did not fulfill their legal obligations, while the enforceability of correction was practically zero.
Neglecting waste management
The Slovak Republic was established to recultivate and close 21 landfills resulting from the directive on landfills will enter the EU in 2004 during the second government of Mikuláš Dzurinda (2002 – 2006, Minister of the Environment László Miklós – SMK).
The deadline for meeting the requirements expired in 2009, during the government of Robert Fico (2006-2010, Ministry of the Environment Jaroslav Izák – SNS, Ján Chrbet – SNS, Ján Mikolaj – SNS, Viliam Turský – SNS, Dušan Čaplovič – SMER SD, Jozef Medveľ – SD DIRECTION). Since the desired correction of the situation did not occur even during the second government of Robert Fico (2012-2016, Minister of the Environment Peter Žiga – SMER SD), it was during the third government of Robert Fico (2016-2018, Minister of the Environment László Sólymos MOST – HÍD) in 2017, the European Commission delivered a formal notice to the Slovak Republic, which initiated proceedings for breach of duty.
Envirorezort has current after receiving the lawsuit, two months to send the answers of the European Commission, also in the same period of two months, a replica is working with which I will respond to the department’s arguments. In response to the European Commission’s response, Slovakia will again have two months to prepare the so-called rejoinders, which will complete the written argumentation process. Subsequently, the Court of Justice of the European Union will evaluate the documents and issue a judgment. Enviroresort has Currently, a plan to achieve a remedy is already prepared, but due to the legislation of the European Union and the protection of the ongoing proceedings by the European Commission, it is not yet possible to publish it. Publication can only take place after the decision of the Court of Justice.
Starting points: The European Commission’s procedure for detecting violations of EU law:
The European Commission detects possible violations of EU law on the basis of its own investigation or complaints from citizens, businesses and other interested parties. In the event that the requirements for proper transposition or implementation of EU legislation are not timely completed, exposes the state to the risk of initiating proceedings under Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU for non-fulfillment of obligations.
The Commission may initiate formal infringement proceedings. The procedure consists of four steps. In the first Commission we will send the subject to the member state must be a request for this request for additional information that must be provided to us, provide a detailed answer within the specified period. If the Commission comes to the conclusion that its state does not fulfill its obligations arising from EU law, it can, in the second phase of justification – a formal request for the application of EU law. If the state continues to violate EU law, the Commission may, in the third step, decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice.
In the event that, within the specified period, the state office is not notified by the national that it wants to comply with the valid directives of the European Union, the European Commission can, in the fourth step, ask the Court of Justice of the European Union to impose sanctions on the member state. In the event that the Court of Justice of the European Union decides that a member state is obliged to pay a fine, it does not relieve the state of its obligations arising from EU legislation. The member state is therefore still obliged to comply with the delivered order and at the same time pay the fine, divided into a fixed flat rate and a penalty, the amount of which depends on the speed of compliance.
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