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PRESENT-DAY LEGAL SITUATION IN THE SPHERE OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION OF UKRAINE AND INFLUENCE ON IT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION LAW
 
07.09.2008 13:44
Автор: Victoria Iershova, LLM, law faculty lecturer of the Kyiv national economic university
[Адміністративне право. Митне та податкове право]
New perspectives for Ukraine in relations with the European Union (further – EU) will rely on the result of authorities’ efforts in conducting business negotiations with EU representatives on summit in October 2008. This process is complicated by the necessity to sign mutual agreement for further cooperation on next decade*. On one hand, it’s important to take into account binding conditions which are dictated by gradual transition to the European Union standards. On the other hand, membership in the World Trade Organization stimulates improvements faster which gives positive effect because most standards are similar with the EU.
The environmental protection had been determined as one of the priority fields in the Agreement on partnership and cooperation between Ukraine and European Communities and their member countries [13] but the problem left because Ukraine’s obligations were declarative and changes are only a matter of time. For example, the Action plan Ukraine – EU was signed for three years in February 2005 and annual target figure was supported by the Verhovna Rada. In the environmental field half or even less was done because no one controlled the legislation process and results. The Official report of the European Commission about realization of the European neighbourhood policy in 2007 doesn’t mention Ukraine as one of the leading countries which are making positive improvement in the environmental protection. The highest results are shown by Jordan and Moldova [2].
The work should be done in such spheres as institutional modernization for prevention further decentralization of power, financial supply for providing independent international financial institution in Ukraine, regional development and, of course, legislative contribution, administration reform [9]. Some problems and propositions for their solutions are observed below:
• according to the Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters [12], Ukraine authorities have to inform population about state of the environment with the help of independent standing committees, government bodies and so on. Nowadays the most important bodies such as Ministry of environmental protection, Verhovna Rada Committee on ecology policy, environmental management and liquidation of Chernobyl accident can’t cover all the information fields mostly because of lack of financing and staff recourses. The same problems appeared in the EU earlier and were solved by establishing program of ecology policy LIFE+ on 2007 – 2013 [8], European Environment Agency [6], etc. Their work helps government to provide independent informing, developing and implementing environmental policy. For example, the National report of the Ministry of environment protection about environmental situation in Ukraine in 2007 isn’t available till now [10]. Such situation won’t be possible with the active independent committees (agencies);
• to adopt Ecological code of Ukraine as the main rule of law in this sphere. Its’ necessity is stayed in the Conception of national ecology policy of Ukraine on the period till 2020 [4] which was adopted at the end of 2007. In practice Ukrainian lawyers insist on implementation of environmental terminology which should be in the contents of the Law of Ukraine “About environmental protection” [11];
• to improve legal rules concerning pollution charges [5]. The positive result is possible only if the charges would be higher than new equipment to prevent pollution for enterprises. The other part of this problem is research laboratories which are able to control pollutant emission level. The main role of such institutions could be in determination of potential influence of the project on the environment similar with the rules of the EU Council Directive on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment [3];
• the environmental law of Ukraine could be classified on air pollution, industry, water resources, nature protection, soil destruction, chemical products, acoustic pollution, climate change.
The positive effect is expected from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument [7]. It’s a budgetary fund for financing neighbourhood countries for realization by the EU neighbourhood policy in many spheres of social life in 2007-2013 years. For example, the budget for Ukraine on 2007-2010 years is divided between democratic development and independent governance – 30%, governance reform and strengthening of administrative possibilities – 40%, infrastructure development: energetic, transport, environment, borders – 40% [1]. Anyway nowadays situation in the environmental law remains imperfect and have to meet the requirements of the EU standards.
_________________
* Today there is no valid partnership agreement between Ukraine and EU. The Agreement on partnership and cooperation between Ukraine and European Communities and their member countries was in force till 1 of March 2008.

References:
1. Andrusevich N. New financing supply of the realization of the European neighbourhood policy: mechanism and perspectives // Visnuk ecologichnoi advocaturi № 32 (2-3). – 2007. – р.15-17. It’s available on the web-page: www.epl.org.ua/visnyk.htm
2. Annex to the Report of the European Commission for the European Union Council and Parliament “The realization of the European neighbourhood policy in 2007”. The Report for realization the European neighbourhood policy by fields from 3of April 2008 SEC(2008) 403. It’s available on the web-page: http://www.delukr.ec.europa.eu/
3. Council Directive 85/337/EEC of the Council of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment // Official Journal NO. L 175 , 05/07/1985 P. 0040 – 0048
4. Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “About approval of the Conception of national ecology policy of Ukraine on the period till 2020” on 17 of October 2007 № 880-р
5. For more information see Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers “About approval of Established order for environment pollution charge standards and penalty of this charge” on 1 of March 1999 № 303
6. For more information see the official web-site of the European Environment Agency: www.eea.europa.eu
7. For more information see the official web-site of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument: ec.europa.eu/world/enp/funding_en.htm
8. For more information see the official web-site of the LIFE+ program: ec.europa.eu/environment/life/funding/lifeplus.htm
9. Iershova V.S. Some questions related to administrative-legal regulation of the environmental protection of Ukraine taking into account experience of the European Union // Chasopis. – 2008. - № 2. – pages 120-125
10. See the information about National reports of the official web-site of the Ministry of environment protection: www.menr.gov.ua. Also see periodical analytical report № 2-ЗГ2 “Public monitoring of the Ministry of environment protection”. – Donetsk public organization “EcoDonbas”, Donetsk, 2008. – p. 9. It’s also available through internet on the web-site: http://eco-monitor.org.ua/text/product.html
11. The Law of Ukraine “About environmental protection” from 25 June 1991 № 1264-XII
12. The Law of Ukraine “On ratification of the Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters” on 6 of July 1999 № 832-XIV
13. The Agreement on partnership and cooperation between Ukraine and European Communities and their member countries was signed on 14 of June 1994.
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