Unilateral environmental action by Member States

The European Commission's decision to permit Germany to maintain environmental controls on pentachlorophenol (PCP) stricter than those in force at EC level has been challenged successfully by France before the European Court of Justice (ECJ). On the surface, the decision appears to endorse Community harmonisation at the expense of national initiatives, but the Court's grounds for quashing the Commission's action were essentially procedural, and substantive issues of principle and interpretation remain very much alive.

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