European Commission

CEP supporting the Study on EU implementation of the Aarhus Convention

CEP supporting the Study on EU implementation of the Aarhus Convention in the area of access to justice in environmental matters under Framework Contract ENV E.4/FRA/2016/0003.

CEP is part of a team led by Milieu Ltd who are carrying out this project. Based on an evaluation of the performance of the current system of EU implementation of the Aarhus Convention in the area of access to justice in environmental matters, and a detailed assessment of possible options, the study should enable the Commission to decide how best to go forward in order to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Aarhus Convention by the EU.  The study is part of the Roadmap published by the Commission in May 2018 on the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in the area of access to justice in environmental matters.  

Dr Clare Twigger-Ross from CEP is providing expert input into the assessment of social impacts of the current situation as well as future options. The project started in October 2018 and is due to finish in May 2019.

Please contact Dr Clare Twigger-Ross (Technical Director) for more information.

CEP and Brussels-based MILIEU renew their commitment to collaborate


CEP and Milieu - a multi-disciplinary consultancy based in Brussels specialising in providing high quality legal and policy services primarily for public sector clients - have been collaborating for more than 14 years.  In acknowledgement of our longstanding working relationship and successful collaborations, we are delighted to announce that we have renewed our Memorandum of Understanding which covers our mutual commitment to collaborate where appropriate in the provision of environmental consultancy services and to share expertise, knowledge and resources.

CEP and Milieu have been working together since 2005.  During this period we have jointly delivered some exciting, innovative and influential projects for both the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA).  This work includes projects related to: policy evaluation and impact assessment; SEA; state of the environment reporting; environmental futures assessment; climate proofing policy; water management; science-policy interface; and environmental governance.

Ric Eales, CEP’s Managing Director, commented:

We enjoy excellent relationships with many partners in the UK and across Europe, but our relationship with Milieu has been particularly rewarding and successful over the last 14 years.  Over this time we have worked together on numerous projects particularly for European institutions and the success of these collaborations is to a great extent down to our shared culture and commitment to delivering quality services to our clients.  We look forward to our relationship with Milieu continuing to grow and strengthen in the years to come”.

This agreement highlights CEP’s continuing commitment to service our European institution clients, such as the European Commission and European Environment Agency (EEA).  Our ongoing work for European institutions includes projects on important topics, such as urban sustainability, emerging environmental risks and foresight, improving access to environmental information and justice, and the effectiveness and implementation of environmental regulations.


For more information contacts Ric Eales (Managing Director)

European Commission publishes report on implementation of WFD and the Floods Directive

European Commission publishes new report on the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Floods Directive, which includes research input from CEP.

The overall assessment was led by WRc and CEP were part of the team assessing the first round of implementation of the Floods Directive (FD), coordinated by Milieu. The full report was published by the Commission last week.

The report provides an overview of the first Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs) produced by EU Member States and reported to the European Commission under the FD. The report focuses on progress so far and is accompanied by a series of Commission Staff Working Documents with both EU overviews and individual Member State assessments.

The FD, introduced in 2007 in response to the large floods across Europe in 2002 sets a framework for reducing risk of flood damage. The growing uncertainties surrounding flood risk management require continuous monitoring and adjustment of practices to ensure the lowest possible damages.

For more information please contact Paula Orr (Technical Director).

CEP investigating EU Environmental Implementation Portal


CEP, in conjunction with project partners Bilbomática and Wood Consulting, are undertaking a Feasibility study on the Development and maintenance of an EU Environmental Implementation Portal, under a framework contract led of Milieu Ltd for the Directorate-General (DG) Environment of the European Commission.  

The aim of the project is to examine how a multi-purpose Environmental Implementation Portal (EIP) can be designed as a ‘one stop shop’, to facilitate quick access to the services of information/data that meet the needs of a wide range of users.  The key focus of the portal will be to provide information related to the areas and pieces of environmental legislation under the responsibility of DG Environment (for example air quality, biodiversity, and water legislation), but it could also include information such as environmental data, indicators, and reports. A wide range of users are expected, including policy-makers, NGOs, and academics.

CEP are leading the first two tasks of the project, which seek to identify and analyse different users, their needs and interests, and existing good practice of similar information portals. This will be supported through a mixed-methods approach including user mapping, analysis, desk-based research, and primary data collection through surveys and interviews with stakeholder groups. 

For more information on the project, please contact Ric Eales (Managing Director) or Paula Orr (Technical Director).      

CEP leading EU sense-making workshops on emerging environmental issues

CEP to lead four sense-making workshops as part of our role as secretariat for the EU Foresight System for the detection of emerging environmental issues (FORENV)

In our role of providing the secretariat for the EU Commission’s new EU Foresight System for the detection of emerging environmental issues (FORENV), CEP will be moderating four sense-making workshops.  The workshops will be held between the 11th and 17th January 2019 in Ispra (Italy), Copenhagen (Denmark) and two in Brussels (Belgium), and will bring together 40 experts from the Commission, EU Member States and research institutions.

The workshops are being organised as part of the first annual cycle of FORENV, which is running from September 2018 – September 2019, and is focusing on the topic ‘Emerging issues at the environment-social interface’.  Across the workshops almost 200 ‘weak signals’ of change related to this topic will be discussed, clustered and prioritised.  Each session will be run in a participatory way to engage and draw on the knowledge of participants.  CEP have led the organisation of the workshops and will be moderating them with support from our partners Cranfield University, Milieu Ltd and representatives of the European Commission.

Drawing on the workshop outcomes, up to 10 priority emerging issues will be proposed for further consideration in the next steps of the FORENV system.

For further information please contact Owen White (Technical Director) or Paula Orr (Technical Director).

CEP supporting Evaluation of SEA Directive


As part of the Study to support the REFIT evaluation of Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment (SEA Directive) CEP will support the project lead, Milieu Ltd, in delivering a workshop for the European Commission on evaluation of the SEA Directive.

The purpose of the workshop is to present and discuss the emerging findings of the SEA REFIT study with the members of the panel and a wide professional audience including participants from EU member states environmental and other authorities and institutions, European Commission, NGOs, companies and industry associations, practice and academia.

The workshop will be held in Brussels on 6th December.

For more information contact Dr Bill Sheate (Technical Director) or Spela Kolaric (Senior Consultant).      

CEP to run EU foresight system on emerging environmental issues

CEP to provide the secretariat for new EU foresight system to detect emerging environmental issues (FORENV)

CEP has been commissioned by the European Commission DG Environment to run a new EU foresight system to detect emerging environmental issues. Named FORENV, the project aims to ‘improve the understanding of policy-makers of emerging environmental issues by supporting yearly cycles of the system set up by the Environment Knowledge Community (EKC) for the identification of emerging environmental issues and related risks and opportunities (FORENV)’.

CEP will be working, initially over the course of the next 12 months, with colleagues from Milieu (Belgium), Cranfield University (UK), the German Federal Environment Agency and Vision Communication (Spain) to:

  • Conduct a broad scanning to compile and characterise at least 100 weak signals of emerging issues for Europe’s environment.

  • Through a participatory sense-making exercise, identify ten emerging environmental issues, including related risks and opportunities on the basis of a broad range of sources and expertise.

  • Characterise the identified emerging issues and define related risks and opportunities for the environment, through recent scientific literature and expert involvement.

  • Inform policy-makers, stakeholders and the public on the identified emerging issues through appropriate reporting and communications.

The project follows on from an earlier project undertaken by CEP and Milieu to develop a participatory methodological framework for the systematic identification of emerging issues for the environment (and environmental policies). This project will put that methodology into practice.  Subject to the first year the contract will be renewable for up to a further three times (to 48 months) to continue the detection of new emerging issues that could impact the environment and environmental policies, in order to allow the European Commission to put in place appropriate responses where necessary.

For further information please contact Owen White (Technical Director) or Paula Orr (Technical Director).