The European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) is an international non-profit association of the environmental authorities of the European Union Member States, acceding and candidate countries of the EU, EEA and EFTA countries and potential candidates to join the European Community. The association is registered in Belgium and its legal seat is in Brussels. Currently, IMPEL has 59 members from 38 countries including all EU Member States, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Iceland, Kosovo*, Albania, Switzerland and Norway.

(*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.)

From informal to formal

IMPEL was set up in 1992 as an informal Network of European regulators and authorities concerned with the implementation and enforcement of environmental law. In 2008, IMPEL was transformed into an international non-profit association under Belgian law. Read more about the history of the IMPEL network. 

Objectives of the network

The Network’s objective is to create the necessary impetus in the European Union to make progress on ensuring a more effective application of environmental legislation. The core of IMPEL’s activities take place within a project structure and concern awareness raising, capacity building, peer review, exchange of information and experiences on implementation, international enforcement collaboration as well as promoting and supporting the practicability and enforceability of European environmental legislation.

IMPEL has developed into a widely known organisation in the environment field and is mentioned in a number of EU legislative and policy documents, e.g.:

  • The Decision No 1386/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2013 on a General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 ‘Living well, within the limits of our planet’, laying down the Seventh Community Environment Action Programme,
  • The Recommendation 2001/331/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 April 2001 providing for minimum criteria for environmental inspections in the Member States (RMCEI),
  • The Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on implementing European Community Environmental Law and,
  • The European Commission Impact Assessment Guidelines.

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