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Söderasp, J. & Pettersson, M. (2019). Before and After the Weser Case: Legal Application of the Water Framework Directive Environmental Objectives in Sweden. Journal of environmental law, 31(2), 265-290
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Before and After the Weser Case: Legal Application of the Water Framework Directive Environmental Objectives in Sweden
2019 (English)In: Journal of environmental law, ISSN 0952-8873, E-ISSN 1464-374X, Vol. 31, no 2, p. 265-290Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) prescribes environmental objectives and an adaptive water governance system. This article analyses the Swedish implementation of the WFD through a review of high-profile Swedish court cases regarding the application of the WFD environmental objectives in individual authorisation processes for water operations. The selection of court cases represents both the time before and after the Court of Justice of the European Union’s Weser case in 2015. The results indicate an inertial tendency in the legal application of the WFD environmental objectives in Swedish courts, including a reluctance to fully apply EU law as interpreted by the CJEU. The overall conclusion is that traditional legal certainty aspects often trump flexibility and a high level of environmental protection as desired in the adaptive water governance system of the WFD. This raises questions about judicial preconceptions and the procedural autonomy of the Member States vis-à-vis the ‘effet utile’ of EU law through judicial implementation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2019
Keywords
water framework directive, environmental objectives, environmental quality standards, legal application, loyal interpretation, judicial implementation
National Category
Law Law (excluding Law and Society)
Research subject
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-71156 (URN)10.1093/jel/eqz003 (DOI)
Funder
Luleå University of Technology
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-07-11 (johcin)

Available from: 2018-10-09 Created: 2018-10-09 Last updated: 2019-07-11Bibliographically approved
Söderasp, J. (2018). Law in Integrated and Adaptive Governance of Freshwaters: A Study of the Swedish Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. (Doctoral dissertation). Luleå: Luleå University of Technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Law in Integrated and Adaptive Governance of Freshwaters: A Study of the Swedish Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Water is essential for sustaining life and providing ecosystem services for different human needs. In 2000, the European Union Water Framework Directive (WFD) was adopted against the background of increasing pressure on the waters of Europe. With the WFD, a new approach to governing freshwater resources within the Union was introduced, aimed at facilitating a shift from fragmented and sectoral water policies to a more holistic, integrated and adaptive governance system at the hydrological scale of river basins. This thesis has examined the Swedish implementation of the directive, with a primary aim to determine whether the Swedish formal institutional framework and water administration are sufficient to fully implement the freshwater governance model provided by the WFD and achieve the environmental results prescribed. The thesis consists of two main parts, where the first provides the contextual framework for the thesis, and the second part consists of four appended papers, which all in different ways contribute to achieving the overall purpose of the thesis. The thesis is founded on legal analysis and qualitative text interpretation of various sources of law, with emphasis on the analysis of national law in light of the WFD as well as EU legal principles and case law developed by the CJEU.

The results show that the Swedish freshwater governance system and formal institutional framework encompasses opportunities as well as barriers for implementing the WFD. The governance arrangements reflect the hydrological requirement of the directive, and the Swedish system holds good opportunities for participation in decision-making procedures as well as adaptive potential, as the general legal framework for environmental and water law contains a relatively high degree of flexibility or adaptable rules.However, when analysing the Swedish freshwater governance system in light of four key functions (objectives and direction; administrative structure; adaptive capacity; and control and enforcement) identified in this study as crucial for the formal institutional framework to deliver in such integrated, adaptive and multi-level governance systems the WFD represents, the results reveal that central aspects of all four key functions are missing in the Swedish system. Due to these shortcomings, the overall conclusion is that no full regime shift towards the hydrological, adaptive and integrated system of the WFD has occurred in Sweden; the system for water planning and governance is not clearly reflected in the formal institutional framework nor sufficiently underpinned by the administrative structure at national level. Ten different proposals are presented to remedy the shortcomings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2018
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords
water framework directive, integrated, adaptive governance, adaptive management, law, environmental law, freshwater
National Category
Law and Society Law (excluding Law and Society)
Research subject
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-71158 (URN)978-91-7790-226-3 (ISBN)978-91-7790-227-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-12-07, A109, Universitetsområdet Porsön, Luleå, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Luleå University of Technology
Available from: 2018-10-10 Created: 2018-10-09 Last updated: 2018-12-28Bibliographically approved
Ek, K., Goytia, S., Lundmark, C., Nysten-Haarala, S., Pettersson, M., Sandström, A., . . . Stage, J. (2017). Challenges in Swedish hydropower: politics, economics and rights. Research Ideas and Outcomes, 3, Article ID e21305.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges in Swedish hydropower: politics, economics and rights
Show others...
2017 (English)In: Research Ideas and Outcomes, E-ISSN 2367-7163, Vol. 3, article id e21305Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Two systems working in parallel have contributed to implementation difficulties in Swedish water governance. While the old system is designed to be predictable and stable over time, the new system is intended to be transparent and holistic, guided by the principles of Integrated Water Resource Management. The paper disentangles the challenges in Swedish water governance and proposes a blueprint for future research. The proposed research project is unique in the sense that it explores the imbalances between the new and the old water governance systems from a multi-disciplinary perspective, elaborating upon the clashes between the traditional, nationally based regulatory system and the new holistic water governance system from legal, political and economic perspectives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Pensoft Publishers, 2017
National Category
Economics Law and Society Political Science Law (excluding Law and Society) Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Economics; Law; Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-66029 (URN)10.3897/rio.3.e21305 (DOI)
Available from: 2017-10-10 Created: 2017-10-10 Last updated: 2018-11-20Bibliographically approved
Söderasp, J. (2015). What About State Implementation?: New Governance and the case of the European Union Water Framework Directive in Sweden. (ed.). Paper presented at . Europarättslig tidskrift, 18(3), 508-524, Article ID 2.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What About State Implementation?: New Governance and the case of the European Union Water Framework Directive in Sweden.
2015 (English)In: Europarättslig tidskrift, ISSN 1403-8722, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 508-524, article id 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Law (excluding Law and Society)
Research subject
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-4683 (URN)2a9cab01-45e7-4d2a-8bb2-0e7be940f70c (Local ID)2a9cab01-45e7-4d2a-8bb2-0e7be940f70c (Archive number)2a9cab01-45e7-4d2a-8bb2-0e7be940f70c (OAI)
Note
Validerad; 2015; Nivå 1; 20151116 (sodjoh)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-10-09Bibliographically approved
Söderberg, J. (2011). EU:s ramdirektiv för vatten och dagvattenförorening: Klarar Sverige kraven? (ed.). Paper presented at . Nordisk miljörättslig tidskrift, 2011(1), 3-30
Open this publication in new window or tab >>EU:s ramdirektiv för vatten och dagvattenförorening: Klarar Sverige kraven?
2011 (Swedish)In: Nordisk miljörättslig tidskrift, ISSN 2000-4273, E-ISSN 2000-4273, Vol. 2011, no 1, p. 3-30Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the EU Water Framework Directive from a legal perspective, with special focus on the environmental effects of stormwater. Efficient management of polluted stormwater is a crucial measure to take in order to obtain the objectives of the directive, in particular a “good water status”. However, analyses of legal material supplemented by interviews indicate inefficient Swedish implementation. Although the Swedish Environmental Code contains several legal management control measures that can be used to improve the handling of stormwater, the relevant provisions are not precise enough, leaving considerable room for discretionary judgements to the administrative authorities and municipalities involved. Furthermore, enforcement authorities fail to comply with the legal tasks to initiate reviews of old permits in order to adjust the conditions to the modern environmental requirements stipulated in the directive.

Keywords
Environmental Law, Stormwater, EU Water Framework Directive, Law/Jurisprudence, Miljörätt, Dagvatten, EU:s ramdirektiv för vatten, Ramvattendirektivet, Miljökvalitetsnormer, Åtgärdsprogram, Rättsvetenskap/Juridik
National Category
Law (excluding Law and Society)
Research subject
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-11036 (URN)9f03dbca-e137-4bf5-ae4b-16db10c12d30 (Local ID)9f03dbca-e137-4bf5-ae4b-16db10c12d30 (Archive number)9f03dbca-e137-4bf5-ae4b-16db10c12d30 (OAI)
Note
Validerad; 2011; 20110506 (sodjoh)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-10-09Bibliographically approved
Söderasp, J. The Water Framework Directive and Spatial Planning in Sweden - Time for Legal Integration!.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Water Framework Directive and Spatial Planning in Sweden - Time for Legal Integration!
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Spatial planning activities plays a crucial role in the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) (‘WFD’) and the achievement of its environmental objectives. In Sweden, spatial planning is regulated foremost through the Planning and Building Act (2010:900) (‘PBA’). In this article, the lack of external integration of the integrated planning and adaptive water management system of the WFD into Swedish spatial planning law is addressed, and necessary legislative changes are discussed. The obligations for the municipalities in this regard are analysed in the light of our general legal obligations under EU law, particularly as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’). In Weser, the WFD’s environmental objectives, including the obligation to prevent deterioration, were declared as legally binding in each stage of implementation. This entails that in each decision-making situation, including spatial planning decisions or local building permits that might have adverse impact on the aquatic environment, the WFD environmental objectives must be complied with. However, the result reveals a clear lack of legal integration between the freshwater governance system and the legal framework for spatial planning in Sweden. As a consequence, water quality aspects are at great risk of being ignored in planning activities at the local or regional level, making the WFD’s environmental objectives significantly more difficult to achieve under the current legal framework.

National Category
Law Law and Society
Research subject
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-71157 (URN)
Funder
Luleå University of Technology
Available from: 2018-10-09 Created: 2018-10-09 Last updated: 2018-10-09
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-7617-4208

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