EU Commission calls on LITHUANIA to remove barriers to access to justice

Access to justice in environmental matters:

The Commission is urging Lithuania to remove barriers to access to justice so that citizens and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can go to court against administrative acts setting quota to hunt wolves.

The EU and its Member States are parties to the Aarhus Convention. The Convention gives the public rights of access to justice in cases of non-compliance with EU environmental law.

In line with case law of the Court of Justice, Member States’ procedural rules governing actions for safeguarding an individual’s rights under EU law must be effective.

Therefore, considering that environmental governance plays a key role in enabling the proper functioning of different sectoral rules, the Commission has decided today to send a letter of formal notice to Lithuania.

The country has four months to address the shortcomings identified by the Commission. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.

Vivian Loonela

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