EC urges Poland to comply with air quality directive
The European Commission (EC) has launched the second stage of and infringement procedure against Poland in an effort to get the country to improve air quality.
The EC called on Poland to remove barriers preventing organisations and individuals getting justice in relation to air quality plans under the EU's Air Quality Directive.
"Full implementation of the Ambient Air Quality Directive is key to effectively protect human health and safeguard the natural environment,” the EC wrote in a letter of formal notice, published on Thursday.
"When the limit values set by EU legislation are exceeded, the Directive requires Member States to adopt air quality plans and set appropriate measures to keep exceedance periods as short as possible. Poland has not ensured that environmental organisations or natural or legal persons are allowed to bring an action before the national courts against the absence of or insufficiency of air quality plans."
The EC initiated proceedings against Poland in this case in May 2020.
"Environmental organisations and natural or legal persons in Poland are still not allowed to challenge the content of an air quality plan and to require public authorities to establish air quality plans as the Directive requires," the EC said in the letter.
The Commission has decided to issue a reasoned opinion to Poland, which has now two months to respond and take the required steps.
A failure to do so may prompt the EC to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.