Our story began in 2003, at the heart of the European Union enlargement. About a year later, many countries from the former “Eastern Block” became EU Member States. Back then, environmental lawyers from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia realised that joining forces on the Brussels scene would strengthen their national cases. EU membership brought about stronger environmental standards, but these are not equally applied everywhere. Making the EU and national governments keep their promises to better protect the people and the environment is the core effort of Justice and Environment (J&E).
The organisation expanded from having 4 members in 2003 to 13 today, most of them residing in EU countries.
MISSION & ACTIONWe aim for a stronger environmental legislation and implementation on both the national and European Union stages to protect the environment, people and nature. Our coverage is wide and we are well aware of the environmental law enforcement issues shared by Spain and Estonia for instance. Gathering national experiences enables us to expose pressing issues in Brussels, while maintaining strong ties with local communities.
How we workAs lawyers we mostly use legal methods and tools to convince decision makers into spurring positive change. We analyse the implementation of EU law, illustrate on-the-ground practice via case studies, design policy recommendations. When needed, we defend the rights of communities and nature in court and launch infringement proceedings against faulty governments. In partnership with other NGOs, we campaign for a change in law and enforcement. We work to improve our campaigning activities, to engage people via media tools.
Our fieldsWe are currently working on:
- Public participation (the Aarhus Convention):
- Transparency of PILOT and infringement proceedings of the EU
- Access to environmental justice
- Climate & Energy: Projects of Common Interest (PCIs)
- Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
- Pollution control: Environmental Liability Directive (ELD)
- NATURA 2000
ORGANISATIONWe are a network of 13 green law NGOs located in several EU countries and beyond. There are 10 full members, 3 associate members and 1 partner organisation. J&E members often serve as environmental law 'service points' in their countries, handling cases, participating in legislative processes and sometimes providing legal analyses and consultations for national governments. J&E lawyers are seasoned environmental law experts, experienced within their national legal systems, familiar with challenges faced by their respective communities and well aware of the EU legal framework.
The General Meeting of all J&E members is held at least once a year to set strategic directions and assess overall development. The Executive Committee is responsible for the management of the network. It consists of five elected representatives of J&E full members, led by the J&E Chairman. The Executive Committee delegates some of its powers to a Coordinator, responsible for the day-to-day management. The latter is assisted by a Financial Manager and Accountant and a Communication and Fundraiser Consultant.
FundingOur work is made possible by the generous support of our current and previous donors:
Association for Environmental Justice (AJA, Spain)
Bankwatch Association Romania (BWA, Romania)
Environmental Management and Law Association (EMLA, Hungary)
Estonian Environmental Law Center (EELC, Estonia)
Frank Bold Society (FBS, Czech Republic)
International Institute for Law and Environment (IIDMA, Spain)
ÖKOBÜRO (ÖB, Austria)
Legal Information Center (PIC, Slovenia)
VIA IURIS (VI, Slovakia)
Zelena Akcija (ZA, Croatia)