EU cracks whip over environment
The European Commission has issued a final warning to several EU member states for failing to comply with EU rules on the environment.
The warning is the final step before the Commission launches a case at the European Court of Justice.
Twelve countries were criticized for failing to conduct proper environmental impact assessments for major projects.
Another eight - including the - were told to comply over the disposal of electrical waste, such as old PCs.
The EU's top court can impose fines on countries which are found to be in breach of EU directives.
The Commission says 12 countries - Austria,Belgium ,Cyprus ,Greece ,Spain ,Finland ,Italy , Luxembourg ,Malta ,Netherlands , Portugal and Slovakia- have failed to implement the EU law on environmental impact assessments.
Such assessments are made before new roads are built or waste-management schemes approved.
The Commission says eight countries - Estonia,Finland , France, Greece, Italy, Malta,Poland and the UK- have failed to implement EU directives on the disposal of electrical waste.
"In the EU, electro-scrap is the fastest growing waste stream, growing at 3-5% per year, which is three times faster than average waste," a Commission statement said.