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Document 61999CJ0466

Judgment of the Court (Second Chamber) of 24 January 2002.
Commission of the European Communities v Italian Republic.
Failure by a Member State to fulfil its obligations - Environment - Waste - Directives 75/442/EEC, 91/689/EEC and 94/62/EC - Waste management plans.
Case C-466/99.

European Court Reports 2002 I-00851

ECLI identifier: ECLI:EU:C:2002:43

61999J0466

Judgment of the Court (Second Chamber) of 24 January 2002. - Commission of the European Communities v Italian Republic. - Failure by a Member State to fulfil its obligations - Environment - Waste - Directives 75/442/EEC, 91/689/EEC and 94/62/EC - Waste management plans. - Case C-466/99.

European Court reports 2002 Page I-00851


Parties
Grounds
Decision on costs
Operative part

Keywords


Member States - Obligations - Implementation of directives - Failure to fulfil obligations not contested (Art. 226 EC)

Parties


In Case C-466/99,

Commission of the European Communities, represented by L. Ström and G. Bisogni, acting as Agents, with an address for service in Luxembourg,

applicant,

v

Italian Republic, represented by U. Leanza, acting as Agent, assisted by P.G. Ferri, avvocato dello Stato, with an address for service in Luxembourg,

defendant,

APPLICATION for a declaration that, by not forwarding to the Commission information concerning plans for the management and disposal of waste, hazardous waste, packaging and packaging waste, the Italian Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 7 of Council Directive 75/442/EEC of 15 July 1975 on waste (OJ 1975 L 194, p. 39), as amended by Council Directive 91/156/EEC of 18 March 1991 (OJ 1991 L 78, p. 32), Article 6 of Council Directive 91/689/EEC of 12 December 1991 on hazardous waste (OJ 1991 L 377, p. 20), and Article 14 of European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC of 20 December 1994 on packaging and packaging waste (OJ 1994 L 365, p. 10),

THE COURT (Second Chamber),

composed of: N. Colneric, President of the Chamber, R. Schintgen and V. Skouris (Rapporteur), Judges,

Advocate General: J. Mischo,

Registrar: H. von Holstein, Deputy Registrar,

having regard to the Report for the Hearing,

after hearing oral argument from the parties at the hearing on 12 July 2001, at which the Commission was represented by L. Ström and M. Stancanelli, acting as Agents, and the Italian Republic by G. Aiello, avvocato dello Stato,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 20 September 2001,

gives the following

Judgment

Grounds


1 By application lodged at the Registry of the Court of Justice on 3 December 1999, the Commission of the European Communities brought an action under Article 226 EC for a declaration that, by not forwarding to the Commission information concerning plans for the management and disposal of waste, hazardous waste, packaging and packaging waste, the Italian Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 7 of Council Directive 75/442/EEC of 15 July 1975 on waste (OJ 1975 L 194, p. 39), as amended by Council Directive 91/156/EEC of 18 March 1991 (OJ 1991 L 78, p. 32, hereinafter amended Directive 75/442), Article 6 of Council Directive 91/689/EEC of 12 December 1991 on hazardous waste (OJ 1991 L 377, p. 20), and Article 14 of European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC of 20 December 1994 on packaging and packaging waste (OJ 1994 L 365, p. 10).

Legal framework

Amended Directive 75/442

2 The object of amended Directive 75/442 is to ensure the removal and recovery of waste and to encourage the adoption of measures aimed at restricting the production of waste, particularly by promoting clean technologies and products which can be recycled and re-used.

3 Article 7(1) and (2) of amended Directive 75/442, which result from an amendment of that directive by Directive 91/156, provide:

1. In order to attain the objectives referred to in Articles 3, 4 and 5, the competent authority or authorities referred to in Article 6 shall be required to draw up as soon as possible one or more waste management plans. Such plans shall relate in particular to:

- the type, quantity and origin of waste to be recovered or disposed of,

- general technical requirements,

- any special arrangements for particular wastes,

- suitable disposal sites or installations.

Such plans may, for example, cover:

- the natural or legal persons empowered to carry out the management of waste,

- the estimated costs of the recovery and disposal operations,

- appropriate measures to encourage rationalisation of the collection, sorting and treatment of waste.

2. Member States shall collaborate as appropriate with the other Member States concerned and the Commission to draw up such plans. They shall notify the Commission thereof.

4 Under the first subparagraph of Article 2(1) of Directive 91/156, Member States were to bring into force the measures necessary to comply with it no later than 1 April 1993.

Directive 91/689

5 According to Article 1(1) thereof, the object of Directive 91/689 is to approximate the laws of the Member States on the controlled management of hazardous waste.

6 Article 6 of Directive 91/689 provides:

1. As provided in Article 7 of Directive 75/442/EEC, the competent authorities shall draw up, either separately or in the framework of their general waste management plans, plans for the management of hazardous waste and shall make these plans public.

2. The Commission shall compare these plans, and in particular the methods of disposal and recovery. It shall make this information available to the competent authorities of the Member States which ask for it.

7 The first sentence of Article 10(1) of Directive 91/689 provided that the Member States were to bring into force the measures necessary to comply with it before 12 December 1993. That date was postponed to 27 June 1995 by Article 1(1) of Council Directive 94/31/EC of 27 June 1994 amending Directive 91/689 (OJ 1994 L 168, p. 28).

Directive 94/62

8 According to Article 1(1) thereof the aim of Directive 94/62 is to harmonise national measures concerning the management of packaging and packaging waste in order, on the one hand, to prevent any impact thereof on the environment of all Member States as well as of third countries or to reduce such impact, thus providing a high level of environmental protection, and, on the other hand, to ensure the functioning of the internal market and to avoid obstacles to trade and distortion and restriction of competition within the Community.

9 Article 14 of Directive 94/62, entitled Management Plans, provides:

In pursuance of the objectives and measures referred to in this Directive, Member States shall include in the waste management plans required pursuant to Article 7 of Directive 75/442/EEC, a specific chapter on the management of packaging and packaging waste ... .

10 Under Article 22(1) of Directive 94/62:

Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive before 30 June 1996. They shall immediately inform the Commission thereof.

Factual background and pre-litigation procedure

11 With a view to complying with its obligations under amended Directive 75/442 and Directives 91/689 and 94/62, the Italian authorities sent the Commission a series of regional plans for the management of waste.

12 The Commission received no such plans either for the regions of Sicily and Basilicata, or for four provinces of Tuscany, namely Florence, Leghorn, Pisa and Lucca. Further, it considered that some of the forwarded plans were not complete. Therefore it sent the Italian Republic formal notice, by letter dated 14 January 1998, to submit its observations, within a period of two months, on the infringements of Article 7 of amended Directive 75/442, Article 6 of Directive 91/689 and Article 14 of Directive 94/62, of which complaint had been made in that letter.

13 Since there was no reply to that notice, the Commission, by letter dated 21 October 1998, sent a reasoned opinion to the Italian Republic, requesting it to adopt the measures necessary to comply with the opinion within a period of two months from the date of its notification. As the Italian Republic did not respond to that opinion, the Commission brought this action.

The alleged infringement and the findings of the Court

14 In its application, the Commission claims that it is not disputed that the Italian Republic should have sent it information concerning the drawing up of disposal plans for waste, hazardous waste, packaging and packaging waste, in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 of amended Directive 75/442, Article 6 of Directive 91/689 and Article 14 of Directive 94/62.

15 However, that information has not all been sent to the Commission, even after the notification of the reasoned opinion to the Italian Republic, which has therefore failed to fulfil its obligations under Community law.

16 It its defence, the Italian Government does not dispute that the position described in the application constitutes failure to comply with the obligations arising from amended Directive 75/442, and Directives 91/689 and 94/62. It intends to take particularly energetic action to put an end to those failures. It maintains, none the less, that the matters set forth by the Commission are insufficient to substantiate fully its claim for a declaration of total and uniform failure to fulfil the obligations under those three directives.

17 The Italian Government claims that the position described in the application reveals a total failure to fulfil obligations only with regard to the obligations set out in Directive 94/62. On the other hand, in relation to the obligations resulting from amended Directive 75/442 and Directive 91/689, there has only been a partial failure, given that the Commission has established only a lack of plans in two regions and shortcomings in the content of the plans in seven regions.

18 Taking account of the position adopted by the Italian Government in its defence, the Commission, in its reply, limited the extent of its claim for a declaration of infringement, by stating that, in relation to the obligations under Article 7 of amended Directive 75/442 and Article 6 of Directive 91/689, its complaint concerned only the regions of Sicily and Basilicata. As regards the situation in the regions of Calabria, Lazio, Lombardy, Puglia, Sardinia, Tuscany and Veneto, which have forwarded incomplete plans, the Commission states that it will be subjected to a separate examination.

19 It follows from the foregoing that, at the date of expiry of the period laid down in the reasoned opinion, the Italian Government had sent to the Commission neither the information relating to plans for the management and disposal of waste and hazardous waste in respect of the regions of Sicily and Basilicata, nor the information relating to plans for the management of packaging and packaging waste in respect of all the Italian regions.

20 It must therefore be held that, by not forwarding to the Commission information concerning plans for the management and disposal of waste and hazardous waste in respect of the regions of Sicily and Basilicata, or information concerning plans for the management of packaging and packaging waste in respect of all the Italian regions, the Italian Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 7 of amended Directive 75/442, Article 6 of Directive 91/689 and Article 14 of Directive 94/62.

Decision on costs


Costs

21 Under Article 69(2) of the Rules of Procedure, the unsuccessful party is to be ordered to pay the costs if they have been applied for in the successful party's pleadings. Since the Commission has applied for costs and the Italian Republic has been unsuccessful, the latter must be ordered to pay the costs.

Operative part


On those grounds,

THE COURT (Second Chamber)

hereby:

1. Declares that, by not forwarding to the Commission information concerning plans for the management and disposal of waste and hazardous waste in respect of the regions of Sicily and Basilicata, or information concerning plans for the management of packaging and packaging waste in respect of all the Italian regions, the Italian Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 7 of Council Directive 75/442/EEC of 15 July 1975 on waste, as amended by Council Directive 91/156/EEC of 18 March 1991, Article 6 of Council Directive 91/689/EEC of 12 December 1991 on hazardous waste, and Article 14 of European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC of 20 December 1994 on packaging and packaging waste;

2. Orders the Italian Republic to pay the costs.

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