Air quality: The commission calls on ROMANIA to improve its rules on industrial emissions

2021-02-18

The Commission is asking Romania to bring its national legislation into line with the EU Directive on industrial emissions (IED) (Directive 2010/75). Industrial activities have a significant impact on the environment. The Directive on industrial emissions aims to prevent and reduce harmful industrial emissions across the EU while promoting the use of techniques that reduce pollutant emissions and that are energy and resource efficient. The European Green Deal, with its Zero Pollution ambition, puts emphasis on cutting air pollution, which is among the key factors negatively affecting human health. Full implementation of the air quality standards enshrined in EU legislation is key to effectively protect human health and safeguard the natural environment.

The Romanian legal system fails to guarantee the implementation of the key objectives of the directive, in particular that installations must only be allowed to operate if they have permits. On the one hand, the Romanian legal system, in its current state, introduces very low and inadequate penalties, which fail to ensure effectiveness, proportionality and dissuasiveness as required by the Directive. On the other hand, the Romanian authorities fail to implement the existing legislation in a coherent manner on an administrative level (e.g. suspend the operation of installations without permits), while the Romanian judiciary fails to enforce the sanctions, nullifying any effectiveness and dissuasiveness.

Therefore, the Commission is sending a letter of formal notice to Romania, which now has two months to address the shortcomings raised by the Commission. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.

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European Commission, 18 February 2021
; https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/inf_21_441