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Document 62013CJ0351

Commission v Greece

Judgment of the Court (Ninth Chamber) of 4 September 2014.
European Commission v Hellenic Republic.
Case C-351/13.

Judgment of the Court (Ninth Chamber) of 4 September 2014 —

Commission v Greece

(Case C‑351/13) ( 1 )

‛Failure of a Member State to fulfil obligations — Directive 1999/74/EC — Articles 3 and 5(2) — Rearing of laying hens — Unenriched cages — Prohibition — Rearing of laying hens in cages which do not comply with the requirements of that directive’


Acts of the institutions — Directives — Implementation by Member States — Binding nature of time-limits for implementation (Art. 288, third para., TFEU) (see para. 17)


Actions for failure to fulfil obligations — Examination of the merits by the Court — Situation to be taken into consideration — Situation on expiry of the period laid down in the reasoned opinion (Art. 258 TFEU) (see para. 20)


Actions for failure to fulfil obligations — Objective nature — Reason for the failure to fulfil obligations — No effect (Art. 258 TFEU) (see para. 23)


Actions for failure to fulfil obligations — Right of the Commission to bring judicial proceedings — To be exercised at its discretion (Art. 258 TFEU) (see para. 24)


Member States — Obligations — Failure to fulfil obligations — Justification on basis of a possible failure to fulfil its obligations by another Member State — Not permissible (Art. 258 TFEU) (see para. 25)

Operative part

The Court:


declares that, by failing to ensure that from 1 January 2012 laying hens are no longer reared in unenriched cage systems, the Hellenic Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 3 and Article 5(2) of Council Directive 1999/74/EC of 19 July 1999 laying down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens;


orders the Hellenic Republic to pay the costs.

( 1 ) OJ C 260, 7.9.2013.