News archives 2013
19th December 2013
Milieu is supporting the Commission in organising the HOPE Conference ("Healthy Oceans, Productive Ecosystems") which will give the opportunity to learn about and discuss the progress made in the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The Conference will take place on 3 and 4 March 2014 in Brussels. You can find all the information for the conference online at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/marine/hope-conference/index.htm
6th December 2013
The European Parliament has awarded Milieu a new project: ‘European Citizens Initiative - First lessons of implementation’.
The European Citizen Initiative (ECI) has the potential to become a popular tool for participatory democracy in the EU and it can be a key instrument for promoting the transnational dimension of the European policy dialogue.
Milieu will draft a study to:
- provide the European Parliament with a comprehensive assessment of the obstacles faced by EU citizens in accessing the ECI;
- support the Parliament to ensure a fruitful public hearing on the submitted initiatives in early 2014; and
- identify best practices and to put forward a number of concrete recommendations to ease the access to ECI considering in particular the revision of Regulation 211/2011 in 2015.
24th November 2013
Liva Stokenberga of Milieu Ltd participated at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP19/CMP9 side event 'Integrating climate knowledge into planning, OrientGate and other case studies in SEE' (jointly organised by the CMCC and FLA). She presented a study on climate change adaptation at the regional level in EU 28 (commissioned by DG Climate Action). More information on the event is available here: http://www.cmcc.it/events/integrating-climate-knowledge-into-planning-orientgate-and-other-case-studies-in-see.
6th November 2013
Milieu has secured a major framework contract to serve the European Commission’s Directorate General Environment in a project to assist in the assessment of Waste Management Plans and the implementation of the Waste Framework Directive. Milieu is part of an eight firm consortium and the project will last four years.
28th October 2013
Milieu, as a member of a consortium led by Particip GmbH, has been awarded a major framework contract from EuropeAid to provide services for third countries benefiting from European Union external aid. Milieu will be working in Lot 6 which covers a number of environmental areas, including sustainable nature protection and bio-diversity; managing the marine environment and coastal areas; waste management; industrial pollution control; water management; air pollution; chemicals; and environmental risks/disaster management.
25th October 2013
Dr Veronique Bruggeman joins Milieu as a Senior Legal Advisor. Veronique is a Belgian lawyer, specialising in environment, climate change and energy issues. Previously she worked with Risk Management Solutions. She brings experience in the areas of managing and modelling risks.
Mari Tepp is an Estonian public policy expert, joining us as a policy advisor. Mari has an academic background in European Affairs, Political Science and International Relations. Prior to joining Milieu, Mari was a researcher at Eclareon,monitoring policies and legislation regarding energy and climate change in Estonia and Finland.
22nd October 2013
Report on the Mediation Directive
Milieu has completed 28 national reports and an EU overview on the implementation of the Mediation Directive (Directive 2008/52/EC of 21 May 2008 on certain aspects of mediation in civil and commercial matters). Milieu carried out legal analysis, data collection and a stakeholders’ consultation.
- checked the transposition of the Directive in the Member States;
- analysed its relevance, consistency, complementarity, effectiveness, efficiency and utility across Europe;
- proposed possible recommendations for the EU and the Member States to make the most out of mediation as an alternative dispute resolution tool.
On the basis of the information provided for by this study, the Commission will draft a report on the application of the Directive (ex-post evaluation).
18th October 2013
Report on the access to benefits for EU migrants
Milieu together with ICF-GHK has produced a report for the European Commission analysing the access of non-active EU migrants to certain social security benefits.
The report focuses on EU migrants out of employment such as students, jobseekers, pensioners and people with disabilities. The report looks in particular at two types of social security benefits, special non-contributory benefits (SNCB) and access to healthcare, to analyse the impact on the budgets of the Member States where these EU migrants reside.
The report used a combination of a literature review, stakeholder consultation and statistical analysis of migration and social security data. The report includes case study work led by Milieu covering France, Spain, Austria, the UK and the Netherlands.
Our analysis revealed that:
- EU migrants represent a very small share of the total population in each Member State and on average are more likely to be in employment than nationals. Activity rates among such migrants have increased over the last 7 years;
- The vast majority of migrants move to find or take up employment and the majority of currently non-active migrants have worked before in the host Member State paying social security contributions;
- Non-active EU migrants account for a limited share of SNCB recipients and the budgetary impact is very low on the host Member States. The same is true for costs associated with the take-up of healthcare - typically about 0.2% of total health spending.
The full report presented by Commissioner Andor responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion may be found here
11th October 2013
Agnieszka Markowska has joined Milieu as a policy advisor. She is is an environmental economist by training and has wide experience in the design, implementation and statistical analysis of large surveys. She has worked recently for the Duch consulting firm CE Delft and for the European Commission.
Almudena Abascal has joined us as a Legal Researcher, having previously worked for the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and Amnesty International.
Welcome Agnieszka and Almudena!
9th October 2013
Milieu has drafted a study for the European Parliament's ENVI committee's delegation at the Montreal Protocol negotiations being held in October in Bangkok. The Montreal Protocol has been the world's most successful environmental treaty, phasing out 98% of global consumption of ozone-depleting substances.
In the current round of negotations, a number of key issues have arisen around the regulation of hydrofluorocarbons and their impact on global warming. Milieu's study analyses the issues and the various negotiating positions of the main parties.
The report my be found here
13th September 2013
As the European Parliament is still discussing whether to require mandatory environmental impact assessment for shale gas exploration and exploitation projects, the Commission has released a report prepared by Milieu on the study on the regulatory provisions governing key aspects of unconventional gas(Shale Gas) development in Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Spain and United Kingdom. The report may be found here
The issue of the use and deployment of Shale Gas and 'fracking' is a highly charged one. The study identified a number of potential regulatory gaps and legal uncertainties as to the coverage of the specific impacts of unconventional gas exploration and exploitation, such as the risks of water depletion and contamination, seismicity, as well as environmental impacts in terms of air pollution and community disruption (noise, land take, disturbance to biodiversity, traffic).
At present, the selected Member States rely mainly on the general mining, hydrocarbons and environmental legislation and related permitting procedure transposing the EU legislation to regulate such activities (as for conventional gas extraction) and very few have adopted specific requirements. This suggests that action is needed at the European level to set a minimum level playing field, ensuring minimum requirements for environmental protection, health and safety and public information and participation
3rd September 2013
The European Parliament today is publishing a Milieu-led study on the implementation of European law.The problems of implementation and enforcement of EU law have been longstanding. This report analyses the trends regarding the transposition of EU law and the reasons for failure to transpose on time. It assesses different tools developed at EU level to promote compliance and makes recommendations on ways to improve their use.
The JURI committee is planning to hear a Milieu presentation on the findings later in the month. The report may be read here
29th August 2013
Milieu and its partners have produced the first newsletter for the project on Sharing of best practices on Integrated Coastal Management (ICM), in a context of adaptation to climate change in coastal areas (for DG Environment of the European Commission). The newsletter provides an overview of the project, describes recent EU policy developments and encourages readers who work on coastal management to help update the Commission’s OURCOAST database (http://ec.europa.eu/ourcoast/).
The newsletter may be read here
8th August 2013
Sophie Morel joins Milieu as EU Tender Coordinator, supporting our business development. She has previously worked as Legal Researcher and Project Coordinator for EU funded projects in the field of Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. Welcome Sophie!
5th August 2013
Milieu has recently prepared, in collaboration with IEEP, a guidance document for DG REGIO on Multi-Benefit Cohesion Policy Investments in Nature and Green Infrastructure.
The guide shows that investments in nature, biodiversity and green infrastructure are relevant for cohesion policy. It emphasises how investments of the ERDF and Cohesion Fund in nature and green infrastructure contribute to several policy objectives and deliver multiple benefits, in particular socio-economic development. The guide offers authorities and stakeholders practical recommendations to improve the delivery of the co-funded programmes and projects.
You may read the guidance document here.
2nd July 2013
Silvia Brunello joins Milieu as a senior legal advisor, working in the field of fundamental rights, civil law, criminal law and justice. She is an experienced lawyer who has previously worked with us as a consultant on a number of projects. Welcome Silvia!
Milieu has recently completed a report for the LIBE committee of the European Parliament on Children with Disabilities.
This study presents the comparative analysis of case studies conducted in 18 Member States regarding their policy for children with disabilities. Whilst there is a broad recognition of the rights of children with disabilities under national legal systems, their practical implementation is revealed to be problematic in most Member States. The report outlines a set of recommendations for EU action to enhance the situation of children with disabilities. You may read the report here
Milieu's Nathalie Meurens, Marta Ballesteros and Karolina Jurkiewicz led our research effort.
26th June 2013
The European Parliament has published a report today on stress at work, based on Milieu's analysis and advice. The report, prepared at the request of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament (EMPL), provides a comprehensive picture of the latest developments in the area of occupational health and work-related stress in the European Union.
It presents recent trends on stress at work and an overview of EU and national measures to tackle this problem, especially in the context of the economic and financial crisis. The report also includes case studies illustrating successful initiatives for managing workers’ stress and improving their mental well-being, in particular during restructuring. Finally, recommendations are put forward to improve the current policy and legislative framework.
The report may be found here
25th June 2013
As part of Milieu's work for the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), a major study on the Roma in the EU has been published. Milieu provided analysis for Belgium and Ireland. The report is available here
24th June 2013
Milieu has been working with the European Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) for a number of years. The FRA has just published its anuual report, available here. Milieu's experts have been providing analysis for work covering Ireland and Belgium.
20th June 2013
Milieu has technically assisted the Commission services during the decision making process for the EU's accession to the Offshore Protocol. This is significant and timely: large scale offshore exploration and exploitation takes place in the Mediterranean; and oil spills from accidents in offshore oil or gas installations can have direct, severe and almost irreversible effects in the Mediterranean Sea due to its semi-closed configuration and the significant seismic activity in the region.
The EU has made two decisive steps to reduce the risk of such accidents through improved prevention and response mechanisms.First, by acceding to the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea; and secondly by adopting the Directive on safety of offshore oil and gas operations on June 10th. Milieu assisted the Commission in these steps and recommended ways to maximise synergies in the follow up actions for the implementation of the Protocol and the proposed EU legislation.
The Commission recently published the final report of this project. It provides an overview of current and future offshore activities in the Mediterranean; explores potential synergies in the implementation of the Offshore Protocol and the Directive; and reflects upon the potential involvement of EMSA in the implementation of the Protocol.