27th November Berlin

Third Aarhus Workshop on „How could access to justice at European Union level be improved?”

Almost three dozen Aarhus-interested participants from environmental associations, the legal profession and specialised lawyers took part in the third Aarhus Workshop on 17 November 2020. Sebastian Bechtel, environmental democracy lawyer for ClientEarth Brussels, introduced the Workshop with two intriguing presentations on the challenging questions: “What is wrong with access to justice in the European Union?” and “Does the Amendment to the Aarhus Regulation help?”. Two panel discussions with Aarhus experts from Germany, Portugal and Slovenia ­ the EU countries which are currently sharing the Trio Council Presidency till the end of 2021 ­ further elaborated on access to justice hurdles and identified concrete areas for improvement. Dr Raphael Weyland, Head of Brussels Office at Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU); Catarina Grilo, PhD, Director of Conservation and Policy at ANP in association with WWF; and Senka Šifkovi Vrbica, legal expert at PIC Slovenia, shared their hands-on experience around accessing European and Member State courts. Dr Maria Alexandra de Sousa Aragão, Professor at University of Coimbra; Dr Vasilka Sancin, Associate Professor at University of Ljubljana and Director of Centre for International and Business Law; as well as Sebastian Bechtel, discussed with the participants how access to justice at European Union level could be further strengthened.

A joint position paper was developed during the third Aarhus Workshop. The “German Portuguese Slovenian Civil Society Declaration on Access to Justice for Citizens & NGOs at European Union Level” can be found here.

For any questions, please contact us: kathleen.pauleweit@ufu.de

The workshop is part of the project “European Implementation of the Aarhus Convention in the Digital Age (EU-AarKo)” of the Independent Institute for Environmental Issues (UfU e.V.). This project is funded by the German Environment Agency (UBA) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety within the framework of the sponsorship of environmental associations.

For more information about this project and its background, click here.