DE SADELEER Nicolas, Commentaire J. Mégret, 3ème édition, Université de Bruxelles, 2010, 580 p.

Environnement et marché intérieur

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The environmental crisis is no longer anyone’s guess. In the space of four decades, the European Union (EU) has made a major contribution to the development of environmental law and the integration of these concerns into other public policies. National laws now depend on the normative choices made by the EU. Thus, for several years now, product standards, ecological quality objectives and energy constraints have become a tangible reality for both companies and public authorities. However, due to the evolving nature of environmental problems and the increasing consideration of uncertainty in decision-making processes, this law is becoming increasingly complex and ramified by interacting with other areas of EU law. At first glance, this regulatory maquis appears impenetrable. In order to facilitate understanding of the principles and fundamental notions around which this legal discipline is structured, the author proceeds, in the first part, to a systematic and critical analysis of the obligations deriving from EU primary law. The relationship between environmental provisions and the other articles of the Treaties, in particular those relating to the internal market, health, consumer affairs and agriculture, is systematically highlighted. The institutional mechanisms specific to this policy are also analysed. As a result of the many reforms carried out during the previous legislature, secondary legislation is currently at a turning point in its existence. A multitude of legal instruments relating to agricultural, fisheries, transport, energy, internal market and external trade policies have recently incorporated these new environmental concerns. The second part of the commentary provides readers with an X-ray, by means of numerous tables, of the various areas of secondary legislation. The fight against global warming, product policy and the scope of judicial protection are analysed in depth, taking into account the latest developments in legislation and case law. Following this overview, Parts III and IV deal exhaustively with the conflicts between national environmental protection measures and internal market and competition law. The compatibility of measures restricting trade, compliance with technical notification regimes, the admissibility of cartels, dominant positions, services of general economic interest as well as state aid are critically examined in the light of the European Commission’s case law and practice. On these various issues, the commentary intends not only to take stock of the state of the applicable law, including the contribution of case law, but also to propose

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Author

  • University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

Quotation

Stéphane Rodrigues, Environnement et marché intérieur, September 2010, Concurrences N° 3-2010, Art. N° 32172, p. 207

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