International Environmental Liability Directive: The 'polluter pays' principle

On 30 April 2007 the European Directive 2004/35/EC, regarding the prevention and remedying of environmental damage, had to be transposed into local legislation by all European member states.

This Environmental Liability Directive is based on the ‘polluter pays' principle and urges operators causing environmental damage - or an imminent threat of such damage - to take more preventive measures on one hand and remedy the damage on the other, as monetary compensation is not allowed.

Seven years on, why is the Environmental Liability Directive still giving European companies and their insurers such a headache?