The Tradition of European Enlightenment
and the Right to a Safe Environment
in the Constitutions of the EU Members and the EU Law
after the COVID-19 Pandemic:
What History May Teach Us about the Future
Doctor of Law, Professor, Academic of the National Academy of Law Sciences of Ukraine
LLM, Ph.D., ILO Research Scholarship
The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that epidemics may result in a dramatic loss of life at any time. In the spirit and tradition of the European Enlightenment the right to a safe environment has been incorporated into EU Members’ constitutions and is recognized by the EU Court in specific situations. The “environment” is virtually uniformly understood as an externally existing pristine natural environment which deserves protection from the encroaching human civilization. Recent research demonstrated that there is hardly any pristine environment left anywhere on the planet while an overwhelming majority of population lives in artificial urban environments. A spread of unwanted organisms across artificial human environments is an issue which requires an urgent action from the EU and the United Nations as it is not a matter which can be dealt with effectively on the national basis while artificial anthropogenic environments deserve a high level of specific protection concomitant to that allocated to “pristine” environments.