The World Daily
More countries sued for air pollution by European Union

Photo: Smog in Warsaw


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | FEBRUARY 19th 2021


On Thursday, the European Union (EU) had announced that it would be proceeding with its plans to sue Slovakia for breaching the laws revolving around air pollution for several years now, alongside plenty of other countries.

Lawsuits are under way against Germany, Slovakia, Poland and Slovenia at the EU’s Court of Justice for having broken environmental laws, ranging from the poor overlook of air quality to the general failure of nature conservation, according to the European Commission. Slovakia is only the latest of the countries to be sued, and more proceedings may be on their way soon.

“We need a new political and social acceptance to clean the air of Slovakia and I am convinced that we will achieve that,” said Slovakian Environment Minister Jan Budaj, who expressed that there’s a strong need for local government to begin addressing the problem of air pollution more thoroughly, and with greater seriousness.

Legal limits on particulate matter -referring to the quality of air- had been set by Brussels all the way back in 2005, and have been considered a vital set of rules to follow for the purpose of prioritising the recovery of both human and environmental health.

According to the European Environment Agency, 379,000 deaths in the EU were linked to fine particulate air pollution in the year of 2018. Such instances will only continue if nothing is done about the crisis – in fact, number may only see a rise.

A high rate of air pollution in a country can very easily be connected to numerous cardiovascular diseases, the development of respiratory conditions such as asthma or otherwise, and even something as severe as lung cancer.

Slovakia had been taken to court by the EU for having breached these legal limits on particulate matter for every single year, from 2005-2019 except for in 2016 in a specific mountainous region called the Banskobystricky kraj. The commission had added that the Slovakian city of Kosice had been particularly bad on this count, having breached the set limits for every year except 2015 and 2016.

According to previously-published PM 2.5 data by IQAir AirVisual, Slovakia had been ranked 40th in terms of the top most polluted countries in the world. Out of all these, Slovakia is known to have the 10th worst air quality in Europe, the report adds. This makes the need for improvement an extreme necessity, one that cannot go on ignored much longer.


At the moment, the EU court is undergoing the proceedings for trials – for which the country of Slovakia will find itself on the list of the bloc’s nine listed neglectfully air polluted countries if found guilty by the top court. Other such countries as Romania, Italy and Sweden are also found among this list over previous environmental affairs.

The particulate matter that Slovakia is being sued for can be explained through all sorts of ways. The most primary ones include vehicular exhaust, which can cause a particularly high rate of particulate matter if there are no driving limits set within a country – this can typically be countered with improved road management. Another way might be through industry, agricultural practices and even home heating.

Slovakia isn’t the only country facing a new wave of the EU’s environmental wrath. Germany, for one, is facing some hefty lawsuits over what’s been described as a “general and persistent” to deliver conservation plans considered ‘sufficient’ for the protection of over 4,000 important natural sites.

The importance of environmental protections cannot be understated by any degree, and with the worldwide focus on environmentalism arguably reinvigorated by the Biden administration in recent months, a newer, greener era may be on the rise for both the USA and Europe.


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2021