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Document 61993CJ0260

Judgment of the Court of 3 May 1994.
Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Belgium.
Failure to fulfil obligations - Failure to transpose a directive.
Case C-260/93.

European Court Reports 1994 I-01611

ECLI identifier: ECLI:EU:C:1994:182

61993J0260

Judgment of the Court of 3 May 1994. - Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Belgium. - Failure to fulfil obligations - Failure to transpose a directive. - Case C-260/93.

European Court reports 1994 Page I-01611


Parties
Grounds
Decision on costs
Operative part

Keywords


++++

Member States - Obligations - Implementation of directives - Failure to fulfil obligations not disputed

(EEC Treaty, Art. 169)

Parties


In Case C-260/93,

Commission of the European Communities, represented by Xavier Lewis, of its Legal Service, acting as Agent, with an address for service in Luxembourg at the office of Georgios Kremlis, of its Legal Service, Wagner Centre, Kirchberg,

applicant,

v

Kingdom of Belgium, represented by Patrick Duray, assistant adviser in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, acting as Agent, with an address for service in Luxembourg at the Belgian Embassy, Résidence Champagne, 4 Rue des Girondins,

defendant,

APPLICATION for a declaration that, by failing to bring into force within the prescribed periods the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Council Directive 86/278/EEC of 12 June 1986 on the protection of the environment, and in particular of the soil, when sewage sludge is used in agriculture (OJ 1986 L 181, p. 6) and/or by failing to communicate them to the Commission, the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 16 of the said directive and under Articles 5 and 189 of the EEC Treaty,

THE COURT,

composed of: G.F. Mancini, President of Chambers, acting as President, M. Diez de Velasco and D.A.O. Edward (Presidents of Chambers), C.N. Kakouris, R. Joliet, F.A. Schockweiler, G.C. Rodríguez Iglesias, P.J.G. Kapteyn and J.L. Murray (Rapporteur), Judges,

Advocate General: G. Tesauro,

Registrar: H. von Holstein, Deputy Registrar,

having regard to the report of the Judge-Rapporteur,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 23 February 1994,

gives the following

Judgment

Grounds


1 By application lodged at the Court Registry on 27 April 1993, the Commission of the European Communities brought an action under Article 169 of the EEC Treaty for a declaration that, by failing to bring into force within the prescribed periods the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Council Directive 86/278/EEC of 12 June 1986 on the protection of the environment, and in particular of the soil, when sewage sludge is used in agriculture (OJ 1986 L 181, p. 6) ("the directive") and/or by failing to communicate them to the Commission, the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 16 of the directive and under Articles 5 and 189 of the EEC Treaty.

2 The Commission pointed out that, in accordance with Article 16 of the directive, the Member States were to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the directive by 17 June 1989 at the latest, and to communicate them to the Commission.

3 The Commission has acknowledged in its reply that the directive was implemented in the Flemish Region by the adoption of Articles 204, 205 and 210 of a decree of the Flemish Executive of 7 January 1992, as amended by a decree of the same Executive of 31 July 1992, both published in the Moniteur Belge and communicated to the Commission. It has, consequently, decided to withdraw its complaint that the directive has not been implemented in the territory of the Flemish Region.

4 By letter of 6 December 1993, registered at the Court Registry on 7 December 1993, it also informed the Court that, after examining the matter, it considered that the decree of the Executive of the Region of Metropolitan Brussels on the use of sewage sludge in agriculture published in the Moniteur Belge of 18 August 1993 (p. 18281), the text of which had been communicated by Belgium in the form of an annex to its rejoinder, constituted proper transposition of the directive so far as the Region of Metropolitan Brussels was concerned.

5 The Commission accordingly considered that it was no longer necessary for the Court to declare that the Kingdom of Belgium had failed to fulfil its obligations in the past with regard to that region. It has therefore withdrawn the corresponding complaint.

6 However, the Commission has maintained all the complaints regarding failure to transpose the directive at federal level and in the Walloon Region.

7 The Kingdom of Belgium does not dispute those complaints. It informs the Court however that the procedure for implementing the directive is in progress both at federal level and in the Walloon Region.

8 It follows from the above that, by failing to adopt within the prescribed period the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the provisions of the directive, the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EEC Treaty.

Decision on costs


Costs

9 Under Article 69(2) of the Rules of Procedure, the unsuccessful party is to be ordered to pay the costs. Since the Kingdom of Belgium has been unsuccessful, it must be ordered to pay the costs.

Operative part


On those grounds,

THE COURT

hereby:

1. Declares that, by failing to adopt within the prescribed period the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Council Directive 86/278/EEC of 12 June 1986 on the protection of the environment, and in particular of the soil, when sewage sludge is used in agriculture, the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EEC Treaty;

2. Orders the Kingdom of Belgium to pay the costs.

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