Concepts, Implementation and Effectiveness
Edited by Michael Faure, Peter De Smedt and An Stas
Chapter 26: The Flemish High Council of Environmental Enforcement: the role of an environmental enforcement network in a new coordinated environmental enforcement landscape within the Flemish region, 2009–2014
Michael Faure and An Stas
Belgium is a constitutionally complicated country. In addition to the Belgian federal state, competences are equally allocated to communities and regions. This also has a relevance for environmental law and for environmental law enforcement. Those belong primarily to the competences of the three regions, being the Flemish Region, the Brussels Capital Region, and the Walloon Region. In addition, the federal government still holds a number of competences in the area of the environment, such as the determination of product standards and the transit transportation of waste. Until 2009, the enforcement of environmental legislation in the Flemish Region was based on criminal provisions in a variety of fragmented (partially sectorial) decrees. Moreover, this enforcement was mainly based on criminal law enforcement. However, since prosecutors often had other priorities and little capacity to enforce environmental legislation, many environmental violations were dismissed.
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