Aarhus Convention information sent to Tara

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Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2003 5:47 PM
Subject: The Aarhus Convention
 
Brendan,
 
The two sheets I gave you yesterday contain only a VERY small amount of information on The Aarhus Convention. 
 
Please find additional information on it below.
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
" Specifically, the Aarhus Convention aims to:
  • allow members of the public greater access to environmental information held by public authorities, thereby increasing the transparency and accountability of government;
  • provide an opportunity for people to express their opinions and concerns on environmental matters and ensure that decision makers take due account of these;
  • provide the public with access to review procedures when their rights to information and PARTICIPATION have been breached, and in some cases to challenge more general violations of environmental law."
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
The above quote comes from a European Commission publication titled "Environment DG Information Brochure" - which was published in 2002 (as far as I know). 

The capitals used above for the word PARTICIPATION are mine.  

 
ACCORDING TO THE  "Environment DG Information Brochure", THE AARHUS CONVENTION HAS BEEN SIGNED BY OVER 40 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES: INCLUDING ALL 15 EU MEMBER STATES.
 
The "Environment DG Information Brochure" further states that the Aarhus Convention "ENTERED INTO FORCE ON OCTOBER 30th 2001."
 
As far as the Republic of Ireland is concerned, and in spite of The Aarhus Convention, it appears to me that senior politicians are (in effect) still the ONLY ones who get to participate in planning matters connected with new roads, superdumps, pesticide-use and so on: at the present time.
 
As the overall situation can get a bit confusing regarding all the conventions and laws connected with the protection of the environment here in Ireland, I have made a hurried attempt to list out the main ones I know of at the following address:
http://www.finnachta.com/TheAarhusConvention.htm
 
As many of the people I talk with do not seem to be aware of some (and in certain cases all !!) of the above information, I am copying it to a few groups I have contact with - in the hope they will pass it on to others.
 
Finally, it may also be worth mentioning that, quite unlike the United Nations situation with "Agenda 21" at the present time (in so far as I know), the European Union actually DOES have facilities up-and-running for the individual citizens of all Member States to complain directly to the European Parliament when they feel they are not being treated right by their respective governments. 
 
Regards,
 
Billy.
 
PS: Personally, and as things are here at the present time, I feel it might save an awful lot of time and energy (and e-mails), if people in the Republic of Ireland were to complain directly to the European Parliament regarding environmental issues which concern them.  (I have added the necessary information on how to lodge a "petition" - which I see as a polite term for "complaint" - to the Internet page address provided above).
 
     
 

CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION:

Extract from Preamble:

     
    "Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; it is based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice."  
     

http://europa.eu.int/comm/justice_home/unit/charte/index_en.html


CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS:

http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/Treaties/Html/005.htm


Translations:
 

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