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Document 61980CJ0252

Judgment of the Court of 13 October 1981.
Commission of the European Communities v Italian Republic.
Failure of a State to fulfil its obligations - Implementation of harmonizing directives.
Case 252/80.

European Court Reports 1981 -02373

ECLI identifier: ECLI:EU:C:1981:226

61980J0252

Judgment of the Court of 13 October 1981. - Commission of the European Communities v Italian Republic. - Failure of a State to fulfil its obligations - Implementation of harmonizing directives. - Case 252/80.

European Court reports 1981 Page 02373


Summary
Parties
Subject of the case
Grounds
Decision on costs
Operative part

Keywords


MEMBER STATES - OBLIGATIONS - IMPLEMENTATION OF DIRECTIVES - FAILURE TO FULFIL - JUSTIFICATION - NOT POSSIBLE

Summary


A MEMBER STATE MAY NOT PLEAD PROVISIONS , PRACTICES OR CIRCUMSTANCES EXISTING IN ITS INTERNAL LEGAL SYSTEM IN ORDER TO JUSTIFY A FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH OBLIGATIONS RESULTING FROM COMMUNITY DIRECTIVES .

Parties


IN CASE 252/80

COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES , REPRESENTED BY GIULIANO MARENCO , A MEMBER OF ITS LEGAL DEPARTMENT , ACTING AS AGENT , WITH AN ADDRESS FOR SERVICE IN LUXEMBOURG AT THE OFFICE OF MARIO CERVINO , JEAN MONNET BUILDING , KIRCHBERG ,

APPLICANT ,

V

ITALIAN REPUBLIC , REPRESENTED BY PIER GIORGIO FERRI , AVVOCATO DELLO STATO , ACTING AS AGENT , WITH AN ADDRESS FOR SERVICE IN LUXEMBOURG AT THE ITALIAN EMBASSY ,

DEFENDANT ,

Subject of the case


APPLICATION FOR A DECLARATION THAT THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC HAS FAILED TO FULFIL ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE TREATY BY FAILING TO IMPLEMENT , WITHIN THE PERIODS PRESCRIBED , SEVEN DIRECTIVES ON MEASURING INSTRUMENTS ,

Grounds


1 BY AN APPLICATION LODGED AT THE COURT REGISTRY ON 17 NOVEMBER 1980 , THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES BROUGHT AN ACTION UNDER ARTICLE 169 OF THE EEC TREATY FOR A DECLARATION THAT , BY FAILING TO ADOPT WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED PERIODS THE PROVISIONS NEEDED IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING SERIES OF SEVEN DIRECTIVES ON MEASURING INSTRUMENTS , THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC HAS FAILED TO FULFIL ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE THIRD PARAGRAPH OF ARTICLE 189 OF THE EEC TREATY :

( A ) COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 76/765/EEC OF 27 JULY 1976 ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO ALCOHOLOMETERS AND ALCOHOL HYDROMETERS ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1976 , L 262 , P . 143 );

( B)COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 76/766/EEC OF 27 JULY 1976 ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO ALCOHOL TABLES ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1976 , L 262 , P . 149 );

( C)COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 76/891/EEC OF 4 NOVEMBER 1976 ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO ELECTRICAL ENERGY METERS ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1976 , L 336 , P . 30 );

( D)COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 77/95/EEC OF 21 DECEMBER 1976 ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO TAXIMETERS ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1977 , L 26 , P . 59 );

( E)COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 77/313/EEC OF 5 APRIL 1977 ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO MEASURING SYSTEMS FOR LIQUIDS OTHER THAN WATER ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1977 , L 105 , P . 18 );

( F)COMMISSION DIRECTIVE 78/365/EEC OF 31 MARCH 1978 ADAPTING TO TECHNICAL PROGRESS FOR THE SECOND TIME COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 71/318/EEC ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO GAS VOLUME METERS ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1978 , L 104 , P . 26 );

( G)COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 78/629/EEC OF 19 JUNE 1978 ADAPTING TO TECHNICAL PROGRESS DIRECTIVE 73/362/EEC ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO MATERIAL MEASURES OF LENGTH ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1978 , L 206 , P . 8 ).

2 EACH DIRECTIVE PROVIDED THAT THE MEMBER STATES WERE OBLIGED TO PUT INTO FORCE THE MEASURES NEEDED IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH IT WITHIN A CERTAIN PERIOD WHICH VARIED BETWEEN 12 AND 24 MONTHS FROM THE DATE OF ITS NOTIFICATION . THE LAST OF THE PERIODS LAID DOWN EXPIRED ON 22 JUNE 1979 .

3 THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT DOES NOT DISPUTE THE FACT THAT IT HAS NOT FULFILLED THAT OBLIGATION . IT STATES THAT THE DELAY IN IMPLEMENTING THE DIRECTIVES ARISES FROM THE NEED TO HAVE RECOURSE TO LEGISLATION IN ORDER TO PUT THEM INTO EFFECT , NECESSITATING A PERIOD OF TIME WHICH IS DETERMINED BY REQUIREMENTS AND EVENTS PECULIAR TO THE PARLIAMENTARY PROCESS ; IN VIEW OF THOSE DIFFICULTIES THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT HAS APPLIED TO PARLIAMENT FOR THE DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWERS , WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN APPROVED BY THE SENATE BUT IS STILL UNDER CONSIDERATION BY THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES .

4 THESE CIRCUMSTANCES DO NOT EXPUNGE THE FAILURE TO FULFIL ITS OBLIGATIONS WITH WHICH THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC IS CHARGED . ACCORDING TO WELL-ESTABLISHED CASE-LAW , A MEMBER STATE MAY NOT PLEAD PROVISIONS , PRACTICES OR CIRCUMSTANCES EXISTING IN ITS INTERNAL LEGAL SYSTEM IN ORDER TO JUSTIFY A FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH OBLIGATIONS AND TIME-LIMITS RESULTING FROM COMMUNITY DIRECTIVES .

5 IT MUST THEREFORE BE HELD THAT BY FAILING TO ADOPT , WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED PERIODS , THE PROVISIONS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE ABOVE-MENTIONED DIRECTIVES THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC HAS FAILED TO FULFIL ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE TREATY .

Decision on costs


COSTS

6 UNDER ARTICLE 69 ( 2 ) OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE THE UNSUCCESSFUL PARTY IS TO BE ORDERED TO PAY THE COSTS . SINCE THE DEFENDANT HAS FAILED IN ITS SUBMISSIONS , IT MUST BE ORDERED TO PAY THE COSTS .

Operative part


ON THOSE GROUNDS ,

THE COURT

HEREBY :

1 . DECLARES THAT THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC HAS FAILED TO FULFIL ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE TREATY BY FAILING TO ADOPT , WITHIN THE PRESCRIBED PERIODS , THE PROVISIONS NECESSARY FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING DIRECTIVES :

( A ) COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 76/765/EEC OF 27 JULY 1976 ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO ALCOHOLOMETERS AND ALCOHOL HYDROMETERS ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1976 , L 262 , P . 143 );

( B)COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 76/766/EEC OF 27 JULY 1976 ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO ALCOHOL TABLES ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1976 , L 262 , P . 149 );

( C)COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 76/891/EEC OF 4 NOVEMBER 1976 ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO ELECTRICAL ENERGY METERS ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1976 , L 336 , P . 30 );

( D)COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 77/95/EEC OF 21 DECEMBER 1976 ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO TAXIMETERS ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1977 , L 26 , P . 59 );

( E)COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 77/313/EEC OF 5 APRIL 1977 ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO MEASURING SYSTEMS FOR LIQUIDS OTHER THAN WATER ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1977 , L 105 , P . 18 );

( F)COMMISSION DIRECTIVE 78/365/EEC OF 31 MARCH 1978 ADAPTING TO TECHNICAL PROGRESS FOR THE SECOND TIME COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 71/318/EEC ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO GAS VOLUME METERS ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1978 , L 104 , P . 26 );

( G)COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 78/629/EEC OF 19 JUNE 1978 ADAPTING TO TECHNICAL PROGRESS DIRECTIVE 73/362/EEC ON THE APPROXIMATION OF THE LAWS OF THE MEMBER STATES RELATING TO MATERIAL MEASURES OF LENGTH ( OFFICIAL JOURNAL 1978 , L 206 , P . 8 );

2.ORDERS THE DEFENDANT TO PAY THE COSTS .

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