Pollution represents a significant cost for society and is a key concern for EU citizens. By applying the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP), polluters are incentivised to avoid environmental damage and are held responsible for the pollution that they cause. Overall, we found that the PPP is reflected and applied to varying degrees in the different EU environmental policies and its coverage and application was incomplete. The EU budget is sometimes used to fund clean-up actions that should, under the PPP, have been borne by polluters. We recommend strengthening the integration of the PPP into environmental legislation, reinforcing the environmental liability regime at EU level, and better protecting EU funds from being used to finance projects that should be funded by the polluter.
ECA special report pursuant to Article 287(4), second subparagraph, TFEU.
Special Report 12/2021: The Polluter Pays Principle: Inconsistent application across EU environmental policies and actions