Influencing European environmental policy - New short films and brochures

What rights do citizens and NGOs have regarding information, participation and legal action at EU level? The four new short films and three brochures of UfU explain this in a clear and compact way.


07.04.2022 | UfU
Brochure "Access to environmental information of the European Union"

The Aarhus Convention: An international treaty that establishes a number of rights of the public (individuals and their associations) with regard to the environment. The Aarhus Convention is the first international environmental treaty to set international minimum standards for access to environmental information for all people, to regulate participation in environmental decision-making, and to enshrine access to justice in environmental matters. UfU explains how this works in its four new short films (German with English subtitles). The focus is on the European level and not on the implementation in each EU member states:

1.) Introduction: What does the Aarhus Convention mean for civil society’s rights to information, participation and legal action at the EU level?

Watch the short film on Youtube

2.) Environmental information: Every person and organisation has the right to receive environmental information. But what is environmental information and how can it be obtained from EU institutions, e.g. the European Commission?

Watch the short film on Youtube

3.) Public Participation: How can we participate at the EU level? For example, launching a European Citizens’ Initiative, submitting a position in a legislative process, or going to a European Citizens’ Forum.

Watch the short film on Youtube


4.) Access to justice: What legal steps can you take to protect the environment in Europe? There are various complaint and legal action options for individuals and organisations.

Watch the short film on Youtube



For more information on the Aarhus Convention and your options for standing up for environmental protection at the European level, read the three brochures

Brochure "Access to environmental information of the European Union"

Brochure "Participation rights in the Europan Union on environmental protection"

Broschüre "Litigation rights in the European Union on environmental protection"


The brochures and films were produced as part of the project “European Implementation of the Aarhus Convention in the Digital Age (EU-AarKo)”, which was funded by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection.

The aim of the project was, on the one hand, to organise dialog and positioning processes regarding the implementation of the Aarhus Convention at the European level and, on the other hand, to develop information and educational materials around the topics of environmental information access, participation and legal protection in environmental matters.

In 2020 and 2021, a total of five digital Aarhus workshop meetings were organised by UfU. As a result, among others, the joint position paper “German-Portuguese-Slovenian Civil Society Declaration on Legal Access for Citizens* and NGOs at EU Level” and the discussion paper “Strengthened e-participation in European environmental decision-making” were published.

Further information on the workshop discussions can be found here:

Further information on the Aarhus Convention and its implementation at European level can be found here (German):