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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.

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Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2010 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(98) 709 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(1999) 512 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2000) 712 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1755 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1411 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1208 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]


In its Opinion of July 1997, the European Commission expressed the view that full transposition of the environmental acquis in Slovenia could be expected in the medium term, if current plans for new framework and secondary implementation legislation were realised and if the National Environmental Action Programme and environmental accession strategy were rapidly adopted. However, effective compliance with a number of pieces of legislation (e.g. urban waste water treatment, drinking water, aspects of waste management and air pollution legislation) which required steady levels of investment and considerable administrative effort could only be achieved in the long term.

The November 1998 Report confirmed that progress had been made following the adoption of framework legislation, but stated that more legislative work had to be undertaken to comply with the short-term priorities of the accession partnership. One of the major tasks ahead was to implement and develop the necessary instruments (financial, administrative, etc.) for the full implementation of the legal provisions in this connection. It was also essential to resolve the problem of the lack of staff in the Ministry of the Environment and Physical Planning and related bodies.

In its 1999 Report, the Commission noted that Slovenia's degree of compliance with the environmental acquis varied greatly from sector to sector. In sectors such as water protection, nature protection and waste management, the level of formal compliance was already quite high, while sectors such as industrial risk management, chemicals and genetically modified organisms had been neglected. Considerable efforts were still required, not least financially. The Commission considered that Slovenia should be able to draw on the necessary resources.

The 2000 Report underlined the significant progress made by Slovenia on alignment with the acquis, particularly in the fields of horizontal legislation, waste and chemical products. Progress had also been recorded in the preparation of programmes to implement the various directives. However, further measures had to be adopted to implement and apply the acquis properly. The administrative capacity had to be increased.

The November 2001 Report drew attention to the progress made by Slovenia in transposing the acquis and preparing for its entry into force. Alignment was practically complete in the fields of horizontal legislation, waste management, chemical substances and noise.

The October 2002 Report noted that important framework laws had been adopted. Transposition of the environmental acquis was virtually complete, except for the Directive on integrated pollution prevention and control. Implementation and enforcement of the acquis remained problematic. Administrative capacity, already at a high level, had been stepped up even further.

The November 2003 Report noted that Slovenia was essentially meeting the environmental commitments arising from the accession negotiations (concluded in December 2002). The country was expected to be in a position to implement the environmental acquis by the time it joined the Union on 1 May 2004.


The Union's environmental policy, as set out in the EC Treaty, aims to achieve sustainability by including environmental protection in EU sectoral policies, preventive measures, the "polluter pays" principle, combating environmental pollution at source, and shared responsibility. The acquis comprises approximately 200 legal instruments covering a wide range of fields, including water and air pollution, the management of waste and chemicals, biotechnology, radiation protection and nature conservation. Member States must ensure that an environmental impact assessment is carried out before approving certain public and private-sector development projects.

The European Association Agreement stipulates that Slovene development policies must be guided by the principle of sustainable development and take full account of environmental considerations.

The White Paper on the preparation of the associated countries of central and eastern Europe for integration into the internal market of the Union (1995) covers only a small part of the environmental acquis, namely product-related legislation, which is directly related to the free movement of goods.


In September 1999 the Parliament adopted the National Environmental Action Programme, which integrates environmental concerns into other sectors. The Strategy for the Economic Development of Slovenia has been further implemented, particularly in relation to transport, energy and agriculture.

The horizontal legislation is in place and is in line with the acquis, except for certain provisions on environmental impact assessment. In November 2000, a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions was adopted. The instrument ratifying the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in June 2002. The Convention on oil pollution readiness, response and cooperation was ratified in April 2001. The competent authority for strategic environmental impact assessment still needs to be designated.

On air quality protection, the legislation is in place and is in line with the acquis, except for implementing legislation on the monitoring of air quality. Regulations on the quality of liquid fuels were adopted in 2001.

As regards waste, the legislation is in place and is in line with the acquis, except for certain provisions regarding financial security for landfill. The establishment of collection systems and recovery and disposal facilities needs to continue. An operational programme for the recovery and recycling of packaging waste was approved in March 2002, to run until 2007. Decrees have been adopted on a waste disposal tax and a tax on the use of lubricating oils and fluids. A transitional arrangement until 31 December 2007 has been agreed for packaging waste.

The legislation on water quality has been adopted. It is in line with the acquis, except for the recent framework acquis on water. An inventory of discharges of dangerous substances and corresponding pollution reduction programmes need to be completed. Two programmes have been adopted concerning the collection and treatment of urban waste water and the implementation of projects connected with the distribution of water. The whole of Slovenia has been designated a vulnerable zone under the Nitrates Directive. The Water Act was adopted in July 2002. It deals with the management of the whole water system and provides for a special Water Fund to be set up. A transitional arrangement until December 2015 has been agreed for urban waste water.

The legislation on nature conservation has been adopted, except for implementing legislation on habitats and birds. The laws ratifying the Convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora and the Convention on plant protection have been adopted. Progress has been made with regard to implementing the CITES Convention. The lists of special protection areas under the Birds Directive and proposed sites of Community interest need to be finalised by the time Slovenia joins the Union, and the relevant protection measures need to be applied. Attention needs to be paid to ensuring proper consultation. Administrative capacity requires further attention.

As regards industrial pollution and risk management, the legislation is partly in place and is in line with the acquis. Implementing legislation on integrated pollution and prevention control (IPPC), volatile organic compounds and major accident hazards and the recent acquis on large combustion plants and national emission ceilings all needs to be transposed. The capacity to issue permits for new IPPC installations needs to be enhanced The National Programme on Protection against Natural and other Disasters was adopted in May 2002, to run until 2007. Transitional arrangements until 30 October 2011 have been agreed for certain IPPC installations.

The legislation concerning chemicals and genetically modified organisms has been adopted and is in line with the acquis, except for the recent acquis on the deliberate release of GMOs into the environment. A national office for chemical products has been set up, as well as a team to assess the risks posed by chemical products. A code of good practice for animal testing has been adopted. In November 1999, a law on animal protection which also covers GMOs was adopted. A law specifically on GMOs was adopted in 2002. It deals with the prevention of harmful effects on the environment and public health, as well as issues relating to importation and exportation. Administrative structures need to be strengthened in the biocides area. Coordination between the organisations involved needs to continue to be enhanced.

As regards nuclear safety, the framework legislation is in place and is in line with the acquis. However, a significant amount of implementing legislation remains to be adopted, notably regarding basic safety standards, outside workers, shipments of radioactive waste and medical exposure. A database for monitoring radiation exposure of workers has been put into operation. The Ionising Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act was adopted in July 2002.

Rules have been adopted on noise emissions from household appliances. Transposition of the acquis on noise is proceeding according to schedule and the legislation is in line with the acquis, except for the most recent acquis on ambient noise. Notified bodies need to be approved.

The overall cost of alignment in the field of the environment is estimated at 2 720 million over a period of 15 years. Sizeable investment is necessary, including in the medium term, to ensure that the acquis is implemented.

Administrative capacity has been strengthened in a number of areas. An environmental agency responsible for implementing the acquis was set up in April 2001 and is fully functional. A Nature Protection Institute started to operate in January 2002. The Environment Ministry's structure has been simplified and rationalised.

Slovenia is a member of the European Environment Agency and the European Environment Information and Observation Network.

Negotiations on this chapter have been closed.

Last updated: 19.02.2004