Espoo Agreement

With regard to bilateral and multilateral agreements, the guide states that there are many issues on which the contracting parties can agree in advance and which are awaiting a regular cross-border assessment. The convention provides a legal basis for agreements (Article 2, paragraph 2, and Article 8). Appendix VI of the convention contains elements relating to these agreements. These agreements are not a precondition for the implementation or ratification of the Convention, but must be seen as a means of effective implementation. The Espoo Convention is an international agreement that deals with decisions taken in one country, but also concerns the environment in another country. The full name of this agreement is the Convention on the Assessment of Environmental Impacts in a Cross-Border Context signed in Espoo (Finland) in 1991. To date, the convention has been ratified by 44 states as well as the European Union. Examples of specific agreements are available here: regional maritime agreements often have provisions on cross-border EIAs, although often at the general level, for example: Poland and Germany have a long common border that leads to the need to cooperate and consult on major projects or infrastructure measures that have negative cross-border effects on the environment. There are already binding provisions for the cross-border EIA. In the area of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-EEC), the cross-border EIS should be legally binding on member states by the Espoo Convention, ratified by Germany on 8.08.2002 and poland on 12.6.1997. This is also the case in the European Union on the basis of directives in this area. German law regulates this issue by Article 8 of the Federal EIS Act with regard to cross-border administrative participation and Article 9 bis with regard to cross-border public participation. However, these EIS regulations on cross-border participation do not exceed a certain level of detail, since they must be applied between Germany and all neighbouring countries.

That is why the two countries have decided to agree on more detailed provisions, particularly with regard to procedural issues. At the 12th German-Polish Environment Council, Germany and Poland agreed on 11.4.2006 in Neuhardenberg, Brandenburg, on the implementation of the Espoo Convention, known as the Neuhardenberg Convention.