European Commission: Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council Pursuant to Article 18(2) of Directive 2004/35/EC on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage (COM(2016) 204 final): the Environmental Liability Directive 2004/35 (ELD) establishes a framework based on the polluter pays principle to prevent and remedy environmental damage. This report evaluates whether the ELD is fit for purpose. Using five principal evaluation criteria of relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value, the evaluation provides a picture of how the ELD works and identifies what has been achieved and where challenges and gaps need to be addressed. The key findings are that the ELD has improved, to a certain degree: the standards of prevention and restoration of environmental damage; the application of the ‘polluter pays’ principle; strict liability across the EU for environmental damage; EU-wide liability for biodiversity damage; and public participation and access to justice for people affected and NGOs. However, implementation still varies significantly from one Member State to another in terms of the number of ELD cases and the way the ELD is implemented. The observed ‘patchwork’ of environmental remediation, together with the lack of some key data on implementation and on the cost (both administrative and financial security), is a major challenge. There is also an executive summary. (14 April 2016)