Legal basis for EC environmental laws

The latest dispute between the European Commission and the Council of Ministers about the legal basis of EC environmental legislation has been decided in favour of the Council. The verdict may reduce the European Parliament's potential influence over the content of environmental legislation once the Maastricht amendments to the EC Treaty come into force.

EC Directives and Regulations must derive their authority from one or more articles of the Treaty of Rome. Since the Treaty was amended by the Single European Act in 1987, environmental Directives have generally been based on either Article 100A, which deals with harmonisation relating to the establishment of the Single Market, or the "environmental" Article 130S. On several occasions the choice of legal base has led to disputes between the Eu

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