Workshop November 2003

In response to concerns about the degradation of soils in the EU, the European Commission has outlined the first steps in a strategy to protect soils. This strategy is one of seven 'thematic strategies' foreseen under the EU's 6th Environment Action Programme. As a first step in the development of an encompassing EU policy to protect soils against erosion and pollution, the Commission has published a Communication "Towards a Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection". The next step is to draft a Directive on soil monitoring and a Communication on erosion, organic matter and contamination in soil. A Technical Working Group was established by Directorate General Environment to support these legislative actions. However, the representation of Accession and Candidate Countries experts in the Group is rather limited.

The JRC, IES launched the present initiative under the frame of the JRC Enlargement Scheme in order to support the development of this thematic strategy and its later implementation with a special focus on the EU Accession and Candidate Countries. The very first kick-off event was the workshop held on 17-18 November 2003 in Szentendre(Budapest), Hungary.



A workshop on "Contaminated Lands in Accession Countries: Benchmarking Historical Heritage and National Actions" was jointly organized by the Joint Research Centre and by the Directorate General Environment of the European Commission.

It took place in Budapest, Hungary on November 17th-18th, 2003



Country profiles

This page offers for Accession and Candidate countries information on the following issues :

  • National pollution prevention policy and company practices (inventory of polluting facilities, the implementation of the IPPC Directive).
  • National programme on contaminated lands, if any (established by whom, by what legislation); if no such, other regional or sectoral programmes or databases.
  • Data acquisition (integration of existing databases, detection by authorities, monitoring networks, new field campaign).
  • Database management and structure of national (or other) inventories.
  • Classification and assessment systems for ranking the priorities of decontamination actions.
  • Risk assessment instruments at site-level, or above.
  • Other decision-making mechanisms ruling the decontamination process (major stakeholders, public participation, cost-benefit analysis, etc.).
  • Financial funding mechanisms of the inventorisation and the decontamination actions other than polluter-pays (central budget, sectoral royalties, environmental taxes, other funds).
  • Regulatory authority framework and key players in soil protection and specific to contaminated lands (licensing authorities, legislative bodies, research organizations). Licensing scheme of a site decontamination (from detection to approval of the clean-up).
  • Legislation (acts, decrees) on soil protection, incl. legal definitions on „soil”, „contaminated soil”, „contaminated site”.
  • Specific legislation on soil contamination, incl. quality standards (emission, immission, decontamination, intervention, natural background values).
  • National strategy concerning diffuse source pollution and immission.
  • Monitoring system(s) of soil quality (national, companies, etc.).
  • Regulations on liability (the conflict of polluter vs. land-owner) and sanctions of soil pollution in the environmental legislation and/or the criminal code.
  • How does land use planning consider contaminated lands?
  • The control of the transfer of contaminated lands (e.g. owner’s statement on land status, approval by an authority).

Country Profiles :


National Legislation




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