The Aarhus Convention
Environment and citizenship
The protection and amelioration of the environment is in everyone's interest. For this reason, the 'Aarhus Convention' offers the public and the associations representing it the right to be involved in environmental matters.
The convention is built on three pillars:
Moreover, the convention specifically deals with two major issues involving transparency:
Implementation in the European Union (EU)
The three pillars of the Aarhus Convention lie within the areas of authority of the European Union. European legislation is adapted to the Convention’s provisions. The implementation of the Aarhus Convention by the European Union takes the form of two groups of measures:
Implementation in Belgium
In Belgium, the three pillars of the Aarhus Convention lie within the areas of authority of multiple institutions and levels of power.
For the most part, environmental issues were transferred to the three regions within the federal state following on the state reform of 1993. Nevertheless, the federal government still exercises major authority in the area of the environment. All this means that the application of the Convention in Belgium is of a mixed nature. The institutions involved are responsible for implementing the Convention within their own areas of authority.
Further information about the Aarhus Convention can be found on the official website of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).