The European Commission has proposed biennial reports on how countries are implementating EU-prompted environmental laws.
A roadmap for the Environmental Implementation Review said there were “significant deficits in the implementation and enforcement” of EU legislation and policy.
The Commission plans country-specific reports to be drafted every two years, to highlight the challenges and successes of each country.
It maintains that the reports will not be an additional burden for member states and there will be no new reporting obligations. They will be consulted before the reports are made public.
Environment commissioner Karmenu Vella (pictured) said: “We need to step up our work with member states to close the gaps. The earlier we act, the less costly it will be.”
The review says there are social and economic costs incurred when environmental requirements are not implemented.
“Full compliance with EU waste policy by 2020 could create an extra 400,000 jobs and an additional annual turnover in the waste management and recycling industries of €42bn,” it claims.
The Commission was managing 286 cases of infringement in the area of the environment at the end of last year, 21% of which concerned waste management.
This follows a warning from some MEPs that member states may struggle to implement the Commission’s circular economy proposals, published last year.
The package’s rapporteur Simona Bonafe recently told the Commission that “something has to be done” to address the number of member states likely to miss their 2020 recycling targets.
Meanwhile, the Commission has urged Romania to draw up plans to prevent and manage waste in line with the objectives of EU waste legislation and the circular economy.
Romania had a waste management plan for 2003-13 but it has not been revised, extended or replaced for the coming period. If it fails to act within two months, the case may be referred to the European Court of Justice.