Austria - new government, new environmental policy?
The programme of Austria’s new government could spell trouble for the environment
With its new government, formed in December 2017 between the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the Freedom Party (FPÖ), a new programme was revealed. It includes several provisions targeting environmental law, most notably the goal to shorten the duration of proceedings and promoting big projects in Austria. The first idea of shortening the time it takes to get permission was inspired by the public outcry over some EIA procedures which take several years. In total however, most EIA procedures prove to be rather effective and quick already. Most of them are finished within less than a year from the point where the documentation is complete. Outside the EIA, projects are even faster but might benefit from the one-stop-shop principle which is favoured by the new government. A critical issue for this are the resources for the authorities, which need be adequate to provide the speed and competence needed for fast procedures.
For more, please see the full analysis of the governmental paper (in German) by University of Vienna Universität Wien (Daniel Ennöckl/Judith Fitz)