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In 2008, it was ten years ago that the Convention on Access to information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters was signed in the Danish city of Aarhus.
The contributions assembled in this volume focus on various aspects of the relationship between the provisions of the Convention and the development of EU environmental law. They discuss the new legislative acts and amendments to existing legislation adopted by the EU institutions in order to implement the Aarhus Convention. Other contributions address tensions that have arisen between normative developments within the framework of the Aarhus Convention and the internal legislation and policies of the EU. These concern contentious issues such as access to justice in environmental matters, where a Commission proposal for a Directive that would guarantee a minimum level of access to review procedures for environmental groups in the Member States remains stalled in the Council of the EU since 2004. Another area of tension discussed in this volume concerns public participation in regulatory decisions with respect to genetically modifi ed organisms. A final group of contributions examine critical issues of implementation of the Aarhus Convention and related EU legislation in selected Member States. Together, the various contributions to this volume address synergies and confl icts across the three ‘pillars’ of the Aarhus Convention and examine the broader legal and institutional implications of these interactions for the development of both EU law and international environmental law.