Capacity Building Workshops

All member states of the European Union have a uniform law for the assessment and management of air quality, based on the Air Quality Framework Directive. With this Directive, the European Commission aims to achieve a sustainable air quality across Europe that endangers neither humans nor the environment. The Directive sets limit values for ambient air pollution and explains which measures have to be taken when these limits are exceeded. The member states are obliged to transpose EU Directives into national law. If the limit values are not met due to the lack of regulations or measures, citizens may legally enforce the implementation of such measures. In 2008, the European Court of Justice confirmed in a landmark decision that all EU citizens have the enforceable "right to clean air". The DUH has initiated several court cases in the last years in order to lower air pollution in the cities, by supporting citizens or being a claimant itself. Up to now, every single case has been successful.

The DUH already arranged workshops in Berlin (26 September 2012, 8 July 2015), Brussels (09 January 2013, 13 October 2014), Prague (24 April 2013, 01 October 2014), Vienna (15 September 2013), London (05 December 2013), Bratislava (19/20 February 2014) and Lisbon (19 May 2015).

To promote exemplary test cases for air pollution control, the DUH supported citizens and NGOs who want to sue for their right for cleaner air. At the moment the DUH advices partner NGOs in the Czech Republic and Portugal which started legal actions on non-compliance with air quality limits aiming a better implementation of effective measures.

If you also suffer from traffic-related air pollution and want to force your city to take action, we are happy to provide information.