The SEA Directive

Since 2001, the EIA Directive has been supplemented by Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment,[1] [2] [3] generally referred to as the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) Directive. It is similar to the SEA Protocol to the Espoo Convention mentioned previously. Like the EIA Directive it is based on the EU’s environmental competence and does not prevent Member States from taking more stringent measures.

The Directive aims to provide for a high level of protection of the environment and to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of plans and programmes with a view to promoting sustainable development (Art 1). The Court of Justice has established that, given the Directive’s objective, the provisions which delimit its scope, in particular those setting out the definitions of the measures envisaged by the Directive, must be interpreted broadly.31

  • [1] [2001] OJ L 197/30.
  • [2] Case C-567/10 Inter-Environnement Bruxelles and Others ECLI:EU:C:2012:159, para 37.
  • [3] 32 Ibid, para 31. 33 Ibid, para 43.
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