On 28 April 2017 the European Commission adopted a guidance on remedies regarding environmental cases, which clarifies how individuals and organizations can challenge acts, decisions or omissions made by public authorities before the national court. By publishing these new guidelines, the Commission took another step to ensure citizens the easier access to remedies provided by national judicial system. The guidance does not concern the litigations among private parties, and the judicial review of the acts of the EU.
The main purpose of the guidelines is to help individuals and civil organizations to decide whether they bring a case before national courts. They will get clearer information about EU rights and obligations arising from the decisions, acts and omissions affecting them. On the other hand, national courts will be able to decide easier which cases given by the European Court of Justice shall be taken into account relating to remedies in environmental issues. Furthermore, the guidance also helps the public authorities to recognize the shortcomings in their system. The guidance summarizes the cases of the European Court of Justice, which determine the EU requirements (e.g. in air quality issues and nature protection issues).
After adopting these guidelines, a discussion will be held with those Member States, which have not totally fulfilled their obligations, as interpreted by the EU Court of Justice. The discussions will take place within the process of the Environmental Implementation Review.