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EC refers Romania to court over non-compliance with clean air, industrial emissions rules

EC refers Romania to court over non-compliance with clean air, industrial emissions rules Source: EC representative office in Romania

BUCHAREST (Romania), December 2 (SeeNews) - The European Commission (EC) said on Thursday it has referred Romania to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to transpose directives regarding clean air and industrial emissions.

Romania failed to comply with EU rules to tackle industrial pollution and to adopt an air pollution control programme, the Commission said in its December package of infringement decisions.

Also, Romania has not ensured that three industrial plants operate with a valid permit under the Industrial Emissions Directive in order to prevent or reduce pollution.

Moreover, the country has not adopted its first national air pollution control programme under the directive on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants. Under this directive, member states are obliged to draw up, adopt and implement national air pollution control programmes. Romania should have provided its first national air pollution control programme to the Commission by April 1, 2019, but has not yet adopted it.

As part of its December infringement package, the Commission also sent Romania two reasoned opinions and five letters of formal notice concerning pending issues in those areas that the country needs to tackle.

The Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to Romania and four other countries for failing to establish their Maritime Spatial Plans. Maritime spatial planning seeks to organise human activities in marine areas so as to meet various ecological, economic and social objectives.

Another reasoned opinion was sent to Romania and 17 other member states for not having properly implemented the EU rules on a proportionality test before adoption of new regulation of professions. The directive provides a set of criteria to prevent unnecessarily burdensome national rules, which can make it difficult for qualified candidates to access or exercise a wide range of professions.

If Romania does not address these reasoned opinion in two months, the Commission will refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.

Further on, the EC sent Romania and Cyprus a letter of formal notice for breaching EU rules on professional qualifications. According to the Commission, the rules make it easier for professionals who wish to establish themselves or provide their services in other Member States to have their qualifications recognised, whilst guaranteeing a high level of protection for consumers and citizens.

A second letter of formal notice was sent to Romania and seven other member states asking them to correctly transpose correctly the EU rules on the fight against fraud to the Union's financial interests by means of criminal law.

The Commission sent another letter to Romania and Greece for failure to transpose the amending Energy Efficiency Directive into their national legal order.

The EC has also decided to open infringement proceedings against Romania and six other countries for failing to effectively remove from their legal orders the intra-EU Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) to which they are contracting parties, so that they cease to produce any legal effects. It has been the Commission's long-standing position that BITs between EU Member States constitute a parallel treaty system overlapping and conflicting with Union law, thereby preventing its full application.

Finally, a letter of formal notice was sent to Romania calling on the country to harmonise its national rules on the management of rights in musical works run contrary with EU copyright rules.

Romania now has two months to respond to the five letters of formal notice. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion.

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