Environmental policy in the EU, origins and evolution
The European environment policy appeared not collected in the founding treaties, butit had its origin in the Decade of the seventies (Molina del pozo, 2011), moment inwhich the economic and social development are affected by the problems associatedwith the environment, being now the beginning of a new stage, in which begins toacquire some importance and concern for environmental issues by the international community , such as: overexploitation of natural resources, natural hazards, and waterstress.
As a result of the above, in June of 1972 was held the Conference of UN on HumanHabitat in Stockholm, whose objective was to establish certain policies governing theaspects related to the quality of life, environment environmental, as a complement tothe demands of economic development. The poor performance at the time by theEuropean communities, was due to the absence of a common European legal base inthe field of environment, integrating the environment into other policies, thereforehad to proceed on several occasions to establish a common legal basis, until thecurrent TFEU, which together with article 115 of the TFEU (former article 94 TEC)served to legally substantiate European policy in the field of environment, respondingto the interest of the common institutions to unify a series of actions aimed at theprotection of the environment.
Problems and current scenario
Currently, the protection of the environment has been one of the key objectives of theCommunity (art. 3.1, letter l TCE), and the inclusion of the environment within thecatalogue of fundamental rights of the European Union (article 37 CEDF, art.6 TCE and art.11 TFEU), it is an important step forward, however limited to establish a principle ofaction which should be respected by the Union in the development of their policiesintegrating the environment in the definition and the implementation of the policiesand actions of the community and not devoting a "Fundamental" subjective right to ahealthy environment. However, the jurisprudence of the European Court of humanrights, has given an indirect protection this law whereas attacks on the environmentseriously affecting people's private life, are considered violations of article 8 of theEuropean Convention on human rights (Rome Convention), which protects the right to private and family life.
The ECJ has a significant jurisprudence on the articulation of the Community policy onthe environment. In several judgements it has favored environmental protectionadopting provisions with impacts on other matters. In its judgment of 21 February1990, series A, no. 172, p. 18, § 40, the plaintiffs were protesting against the noisegenerated by flights at Heathrow Airport , because the noise decreased the qualityof his private life, and in which the ECTHR declared that could violate article 8 of theECHR.
On many occasions, the problem lies in the same policy for the protection of theenvironment, which does not guarantee the direct protection of the environment. Inone case, the case-law of the ECHR which favours the protection of the right to ahealthy environment, has been braking with the ECHR on July 8, 2003 decision, Hattonand others v. United Kingdom, no. 36022/97, § 99, ECHR 2003-VIII . In thisjudgement the ECHR declared unjustified demand, due to the fact that the Conventiondoes not expressly recognize the right to a healthy and peaceful environment, even ifan individual is affected by the noise.
Lately, in the judgement of the European Court of Justice, of 8 September 2011, case C-120/10, which aims in the resolution of a question raised by the Conseil d' état (Belgium), in the proceedings between European Air Transport S.A on the one handand the College of environment of the Région de Bruxelles - Capitale and theBruxelles-Capitale region, in relation to various penalties cited airline for breaking withthe rules of sound pollution flying over Brussels due to non-compliance with nationallegislation on noise in urban areas.