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A Modest Contribution to Environmental Democracy and Justice in Transboundary Contexts: The Combined Impact of the Espoo Convention and Aarhus Convention

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Abstract

The Espoo Convention with the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Protocol and the Aarhus Convention reduce the impact of State borders for participatory rights in environmental decision making with transboundary reach. While confirming the sovereignty of States, these treaties set out minimum standards for public participation in environmental decision making, to be applied also in transboundary contexts, and prohibit any discrimination as to citizenship, nationality or domicile in providing for public participation. In a modest way, they thus also promote environmental democracy and justice considerations across State borders. However, this potential is not yet used to the fullest extent possible.

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