EU environmental compliance assurance

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As part of his overall strategy to create a closer dialogue with citizens, Commission President Juncker pledged to regain the credibility of citizens by focusing on matters of importance to them. In order to fulfil the environmental objectives which are addressed in the context of creating new jobs and boosting growth and investment, the European Commission had to address the issues of poor compliance in the environmental policy area. To that end, the Commission published the 2018 Environmental Compliance Assurance Action Plan containing a set of nine measures specific to environmental policy with the aim of improving compliance with EU environmental law and strengthening environmental governance in both Member States and the EU. This article analyses the approach to compliance in the new Environmental Compliance Assurance Action Plan by exploring the measures set out within it and their alignment with previous initiatives of the Commission to address poor compliance. The Commission’s choice of measures to address sources of non-compliance is assessed using the management theory of compliance. The article concludes that pursuit of the management approach to compliance under the Environmental Compliance Assurance Action Plan should allow for a more coherent and strategic approach to compliance aimed at preventing non-compliance at an earlier stage and addressing the most common reasons of non-compliance in Member States.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Law Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2019


  • EU
  • Environmental Compliance Assurance Action Plan
  • European Commission
  • compliance assurance
  • complience
  • enforcement
  • management approach


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