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European Commission: Italy, Greece, Sweden, Bulgaria and Spain referred to Court over failure to comply with health and environmental protection standards

(Brussels) A number of countries do not comply with European standards in environmental protection and citizens’ health, which is why the European Commission announced today that measures have been taken “to achieve the intended outcome. Sometimes that is the only way to achieve it”, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Karmenu Vella, explained at a press conference. Greece was referred to the Court of Justice of the EU over its “failure to protect biodiversity adequately” together with Sweden which failed “to ensure that urban waste water from a number of agglomerations receives adequate treatment”. Bulgaria and Spain were also referred to the Court over their non-compliance with EU air quality standards. “There is no room for compromise on human health”, the Commissioner explained. In this context, Italy too was referred to the Court over its “failure to transpose the revised basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation”. Also today, a letter of formal notice was sent to Italy for its failure to notify national measures on penalties for infringements of EU rules on fluorinated greenhouse gases with global warming effect and for its failure to protect public sector workers against abusive successive fixed-term contracts and discrimination. In total, the Commission has today issued 130 letters of formal notice, 79 reasoned opinions and 15 referrals to Court.

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