France angered by new EU tack on liability

Paris "astonished" by decision to turn away from civil law to compensate for environmental damage

European Commission plans to propose an EU regime making companies liable to compensate for environmental damage through public rather than civil law has drawn strong criticism from the French government.

In its contribution to a stakeholder consultation on a recent working document outlining current Commission proposals on liability, France says it is "astonished that the ambition of a civil liability regime has been abandoned, especially in the context of moves toward sustainable development, where it would have been useful."

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