Mimicking Environmental Transparency: The Implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Romania

40 Pages Posted: 18 May 2015

See all articles by Dacian C. Dragos

Dacian C. Dragos

Babes-Bolyai University

Bogdana Neamtu

Babes-Bolyai University

Date Written: April 8, 2015

Abstract

This chapter investigates the implementation status of the Aarhus Convention in Romania by a) examining if the provisions of the national legislation are in line with the requirements of the Convention; and b) empirically analyzing how implementation is either hindered or helped by the existing legal and administrative culture and practices surrounding access to information, participation, and access to justice in environmental matters. The main conclusion of the authors is that by examining the legal provisions in place, the reader will likely get only half the story – despite the fact that Romania seems very progressive in terms of its legislation in this field, numerous challenges occur during implementation. Public authorities view participation as a hassle, something they need to comply with by doing the minimum required by law and not being proactive. Citizens’ demand for transparency and openness in government is weak, as they lack trust in state institutions, including courts, and harbor the belief that they cannot change the course of governmental affairs. Courts, in their turn, aggravate this situation by means of lengthy court proceedings and lack of a proper remedy system. In order to enhance implementation the authors argue that the role of environmental NGOs is critical – they need to continue to be involved in identifying deficiencies in the application of the Convention, coupled with more severe sanctions for the institutions that do not comply.

Keywords: Aarhus Convention, Romania, implementation, access to justice, environment, transparency, access to information, openess

JEL Classification: K32, K33, K41

Suggested Citation

Dragos, Dacian C. and Neamtu, Bogdana, Mimicking Environmental Transparency: The Implementation of the Aarhus Convention in Romania (April 8, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2591824 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2591824

Dacian C. Dragos

Babes-Bolyai University ( email )

71 T. Mosoiu str.
Cluj NApoca, Cluj 400132
Romania
0040264431361 (Phone)
0040264431361 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.apubb.ro

Bogdana Neamtu (Contact Author)

Babes-Bolyai University ( email )

58-60 Teodor Maniu street, Cluj-Napoca
67 Iuliu Maniu street, Sighetu Marmatiei
RO-3400 Cluj-Napoca, Cluj 435500
Romania

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