The Science, Law and Policy of Neonicotinoids and Bees: A New Test Case for the Precautionary Principle
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (6/2013)
Once more, while facing an analogous risk phenomenon affecting their predominantly homogeneous societal and economic interests, the two sides of the Atlantic seem to adopt diverging stances. Amid the publication of several new studies and a set of EFSA scientific opinions linking the use of the world’s most widely used pesticides to bee decline, the European Union adopted a temporary ban on their use. While the Commission does not expressly rely on it, its restrictive decision is clearly based on the controversial precautionary principle. Yet, as it is discussed in this article, the conformity of this decision with the requirements that determine the legal invocation of this principle remains doubtful.

Private Norms as International Standards? – Regime Collisions in Tuna-Dolphin II
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (12/2012)
The requirements of free trade and economic globalisation and the respective international legal framework, namely in the context of the WTO, have led to a decrease of the regulatory power of the nation states which cannot be replaced by comparable public international law making – neither in content nor with respect to legitimacy considerations.

Back to the Future: US-Tuna II and the New Environment-Trade Debate
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (6/2012)
This article discusses a number of pitfalls of the US-Tuna II Panel Report. This Report is interesting because it offers an occasion to reflect on some provisions of the Technical Barrier to Trade (TBT) Agreement, which may be crucial for the assessment of the legality of environmental labelling regimes. The most troubling part of the Report is the one dealing with the trade-restrictive nature of the measure. The Panel seems to have relied on a test by which if a measure does not reach its objectives perfectly, any other ineffective measures adopted with allegedly the same goals can be judged as a valid less-trade restrictive alternative. In other words, two wrongs seem to make a right in the view of the Panel; a conclusion that, for obvious reasons, will not be greeted with enthusiasm by environmentalists.

The 2010 UN-Year on Biodiversity – A Legal Retrospect
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (5/2011)
The UN General Assembly decided to establish an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the COP 10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, addressed the course for biodiversity protection beyond 2010. The international legal protection of biodiversity began with the signing of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the first global agreement for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, at the United Nations summit in Rio in 1992.

Towards a new EU Plant Protection Regime – Legal Problems arising out of the Transition with Regard to Regulatory Approvals and Authorisations
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (1/2011)
The plant protection law within the European Union has been continuously developed over the past two decades. Harmonized provisions for the placing of plant protection products on the common market were introduced by Council Directive 91/414/EEC of 15 July 19911 (hereinafter the “Directive”). Based on a progress report issued by the Commission under this Directive2, the need for a revision of the Directive was identified which should, in order to ensure consistency throughout the Member States and to provide for simplification, take the form of a regulation.

IBI Bateke Carbon Sink Plantation: An African Forestry Pilot Case
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (12/2010)
A forestry project in West Africa with a strong social and development component is perhaps the best example of what the Clean Development Mechanism was supposed to be about. Achieving it is not easy: many elements need to be brought together to produce a project that performs socially, developmentally and environmentally.

EU GM Crop Regulation: A Road to Resolution or a Regulatory Roundabout?
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (12/2010)
Since first embarking on the road of risk management options for the regulation of recombinant DNA (rDNA) activities and use in 1978, the European Union (EU) has largely failed to create a regulatory and policy environment regarding genetically modified (GM) crops and their cultivation that is (a) efficient, (b) predicable, (c) accountable, (d) durable or (e) interjurisdictionally aligned.

The New Strategy on Coexistence in the 2010 European Commission Recommendation
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (12/2010)
The European Union tried to establish a “coexistence” policy for the cultivation and processing of GM and non-GM products after the political agreement that put an end to the 1999-2004 moratorium. Consequently, coexistence is part of this gentlemen’s agreement between States with pro and anti-GMO positions.

What Price Flexibility? – The Recent Commission Proposal to Allow for National “Opt-Outs” on GMO Cultivation under the Deliberate Release Directive and the Comitology Reform Post-Lisbon
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (12/2010)
“After a reform is before another reform.” This paraphrasing of a famous saying from the world of football seems to be a very fitting way to describe the status quo of the European policy on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The functioning of the EU legal framework on GMOs has since its initial establishment in the 1990s been troubled by political disagreement, deadlocks in decision-making, strong public opposition in the Member States, and considerable delays in the process of authorisation of genetically engineered products on the internal market of the EU.

The Commission’s New Approach to the Cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms
© Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH (12/2010)
The Commission has proposed to legitimise the renationalization of the cultivation of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) accepting the request of a group of Member States who raised concerns at the Environment Council of June 2009 regarding the EU-wide decisions on GMO cultivation. Based on subsidiarity grounds, they requested the Commission give the freedom to decide on the cultivation of GM plants to both national and local authorities.

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