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Title (Primary) 'Sustainable development' as a criterion for the interpretation of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive
Author Unnerstall, H.;
Journal European Environment
Year 2006
Department UPR;
Volume 16
Issue 2
Language englisch;
Keywords European environmental law; sustainable development; interpretation of the integration principle; exception clause
Abstract Article 6(4) of the Habitats Directive requires a weighing up of environmental and economic interests in order to allow for deviation from valid environmental standards. This provision has to be interpreted in the light of the tasks and aims of the European treaties, especially in the light of sustainable development (SD). It is not only a political aim, but was also introduced in the European treaties in 1997 as both legally binding task and goal. This paper develops a comprehensive interpretative understanding of these provisions and their consequences for the application of European environmental law. SD is usually understood as being one aim amongst others and having three dimensions of SD (ecological, social and economic) of equal weight. This concept of equal weight contradicts the idea of a common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR), which is an essential part of SD. The CBDR requires that ‘SD’ has de facto different meanings in different member states according to their economic development. Therefore, Article 6 of the Habitats Directive may only be applied in those areas of the Community having a development lag
ID 3081
Persistent UFZ Identifier http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=3081
Unnerstall, H. (2006):
'Sustainable development' as a criterion for the interpretation of Article 6 of the Habitats Directive
European Environment 16 (2), 73 - 88