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Since the early eighties the so-called ‘Seveso Directives’ have provided a legal framework of reference for rules governing major accident hazards in Europe, based on the essential principles of preventive action, public participation, and public information, as well as on the precautionary principle. As competent authorities in each Member State must follow stringent reporting requirements to the European Commission, it has become clear that, although enormous progress has been made, significant difficulties persist in reaching the safety goals of the directives. This highly informative book details the specific progress manifested in a representative cross-section of Member States (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic), in the process highlighting where difficulties arise and indicating methods by which actuality can be brought as near as possible to the uncompromising safety assurance envisioned by the directives.
In the national reports and in the general opening chapter, the authors discuss safety measures aimed at preventing major accidents as well as control measures which aim at limiting the consequences of an accident once it occurs. They describe provisions regarding such factors as the following, in terms of both the legal requirements and actual current implementation :
In its recognition that the environmental stake is of crucial importance for the future – indeed, a necessary condition for economic development and the construction of a European identity – this important book gives lawyers and other concerned parties the kind of clear, integrated perspective that leads to concerted positive action. It will be highly valued as a major contribution to our knowledge of how to prevent and control threats to the human and natural environment.