EU Commission urges FRANCE to improve citizens’ access to environmental information

Access to environmental information:

The Commission urges France to comply with Directive 2003/4 on public access to environmental information.

The Directive aims at increasing public access to environmental information and the dissemination of such information contributing to a greater awareness of environmental matters, a more effective participation by the public in environmental decision-making and, eventually, to a better environment.

The Directive foresees that an applicant who considers that his request for information has been ignored, or wrongfully refused, may ask an independent and impartial body to review the case in an expeditious manner.

In France, such a procedure exists but the deadline of one month given to the independent body to provide its opinion has been repeatedly exceeded, reaching an average of four months in recent years.

Therefore,the Commission decided today to send a letter of formal notice to France, which now has four months to remedy the situation. In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion.

Vivian Loonela

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