Commission treads softly on decentralisation of enforcement

Several initiatives to decentralise the enforcement of EC environmental legislation were mooted in a Communication published by the European Commission on 22 October. Its most radical ideas are the establishment of national ombudsmen to field complaints about breaches of EC rules and easing of public access to the courts - but in these and other areas it has shied away from legislating and intends to proceed by making recommendations to Member States.

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