European Court of Justice Finds Bulgaria Guilty in Illegal Landfills Case

Bulgaria in EU | July 20, 2015, Monday // 13:15|  views

Photo by BGNES

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Bulgaria has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EU Landfill Directive and has not taken the necessary steps to open new landfills matching EU requirements, according to Bulgarian media reports. 

The ECJ has not made clear in its ruling what penalties Bulgaria will face for the delay, Sofia-based Capital daily reported on Monday.

The European Commission took Bulgaria to the EU Court of Justice in January 2014, stressing the failure of the country to ensure landfills compliant with EU waste and landfill legislation.

Bulgaria missed a 2009 deadline stipulated in the Landfill Directive to close non-compliant landfills.

Bulgaria was supposed to have built 57 modern regional landfills for municipal waste by June 2009, according to Capital daily.

The landfills situated at the outskirts of towns, which were around 200 at that point, were supposed to be closed.

Bulgaria’s Environment Minister Ivelina Vasileva announced in May that the delay of the implementation of operational program “Environment” in 2014 had postponed the construction of regional landfills.

She vowed that the construction of the facilities would be fast-tracked.

Vasileva made clear last week that the European Commission had transferred an advance payment amounting to BGN 60 M to Bulgaria to launch the implementation of operational program “Environment” 2014-2020.

The construction of 20 regional waste management systems is financed under operational program “Environment” 2014-2020, while the remaining units are to be built using state budget money.

Under the target pursued by Bulgaria’s government, 50% of household waste is to be recycled and reused by 2020, as well as 35% of bio-waste.

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Tags: Landfill Directive, European Court of Justice, ECJ, landfills, Ivelina Vasileva, Environment Minister, Operational Program Environment, EU funding


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