The second pillar of the Aarhus Convention is public participation in decision-making related to the environment. The Convention provides a framework for the public to take part in decisions relating to the environment at an early stage, and thus making the project, development or plan more likely to be acceptable, more sustainable and less damaging to the environment.
Public participation is provided for at EU level through the Directive on public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the Environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to justice Council Directives 85/337/EEC and 96/61/EC (2003/35/EC). Malta transposed the provisions of this Directive into Maltese law by Article 469A of the Code of Organization and Civil Procedure (Cap. 12) and the following Legal Notices:
• Plans and Programmes (Public Participation) Regulations (S.L. 549.41);
•Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Regulations (S.L. 549.77);
•Freedom of Access to Information on the Environment Regulations (S.L. 549.39);
•Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations (S.L. 424.19);
•Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations (S.L. 549.46);
•European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Reporting Obligations Regulations (S.L. 549.47);
•Strategic Environmental Assessment Regulations (S.L. 549.61).
Public consultation on permits, plans and programmes issued by the Environment and Resources Authority can be viewed here.
Information about planning permissions and plans is available on the Planning Authority website.
All documents issued by Government for public consultation are available here.