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Document 62001CJ0029

Judgment of the Court (Second Chamber) of 7 March 2002.
Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Spain.
Failure by a Member State to fulfil its obligations - Failure to transpose Directive 96/61/EC.
Case C-29/01.

European Court Reports 2002 I-02503

ECLI identifier: ECLI:EU:C:2002:155

62001J0029

Judgment of the Court (Second Chamber) of 7 March 2002. - Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Spain. - Failure by a Member State to fulfil its obligations - Failure to transpose Directive 96/61/EC. - Case C-29/01.

European Court reports 2002 Page I-02503


Parties
Grounds
Decision on costs
Operative part

Keywords


1. Member States - Obligations - Implementation of directives - Failure to fulfil obligations - Initiation of the procedure for adoption of a law designed to transpose a directive into national law - Not relevant

(Art. 10 EC and Art. 249, third para., EC)

2. Actions for failure to fulfil obligations - Examination of the merits by the Court - Situation to be taken into consideration - Situation at the end of the period laid down in the reasoned opinion

(Art. 226 EC)

Parties


In Case C-29/01,

Commission of the European Communities, represented by G. Valero Jordana, acting as Agent, with an address for service in Luxembourg,

applicant,

v

Kingdom of Spain, represented by M. López-Monís Gallego, acting as Agent, with an address for service in Luxembourg,

defendant,

APPLICATION for a declaration that, by failing to adopt the laws, regulations and administrative measures necessary in order to comply with Council Directive 96/61/EC of 24 September 1996 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control (OJ 1996 L 257, p. 26), or, in any event, by failing to communicate the same to the Commission, the Kingdom of Spain has failed to fulfil its obligations under that directive,

THE COURT (Second Chamber),

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

Advocate General: C. Stix-Hackl,

Registrar: R. Grass,

having regard to the report of the Judge-Rapporteur,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 10 January 2002,

gives the following

Judgment

Grounds


1 By application lodged at the Court Registry on 24 January 2001, the Commission of the European Communities brought an action under Article 226 EC for a declaration that, by failing to adopt the laws, regulations and administrative measures necessary in order to comply with Council Directive 96/61/EC of 24 September 1996 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control (OJ 1996 L 257, p. 26), or, in any event, by failing to communicate the same to the Commission, the Kingdom of Spain has failed to fulfil its obligations under that directive.

2 Under the first subparagraph of Article 21(1) of Directive 96/61, the Member States were to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary in order to comply with that directive no later than three years after its entry into force, that is to say, by 30 October 1999, and were immediately to inform the Commission thereof.

3 Taking the view that Directive 96/61 had not been tranposed into Spanish law within the prescribed period, the Commission initiated the infringement procedure. After giving the Kingdom of the Spain formal notice to submit its observations, the Commission on 27 July 2000 issued a reasoned opinion calling on that Member State to take the measures necessary to comply, within two months of notification of that opinion, with its obligations under that directive.

4 On 8 September 2000 the Spanish Permanent Representation to the European Community requested an extention of time of one month in order to reply to the reasoned opinion. The Commission did not grant that request.

5 By letter of 6 December the Spanish authorities informed the Commission that the preliminary version of the draft law intended to transpose Directive 96/61 had been presented to the Sectoral Conference for the Environment on 20 November 2000. The text was to be adopted as a draft law by the Council of Ministers in April 2001 and the law was to be enacted before the end of 2001.

6 Since that information showed that Directive 96/61 had still not been transposed into Spanish law, the Commission decided to bring the present action.

7 The Commission, pointing out the obligations incumbent on the Member States under Directive 96/61, maintains that the Kingdom of Spain was required to take all measures necessary to comply with Directive 96/61 within the prescribed period and to communicate the same to it forthwith. Since the drawing-up of a draft law does not constitute a valid and sufficent measure to ensure the transposition of a directive into national law, the Kingdom of Spain has failed to fulfil its obligations under Directive 96/61.

8 The Kingdom of Spain does not deny its failure to transpose Directive 96/61 within the prescribed period and states that its transposition is under way. It argues, however, that by initiating the requisite national procedure for the transposition of Directive 96/61, it has complied with its obligation under Article 10 EC. Accordingly, the action should be dismissed and the Commission ordered to pay the costs.

9 Under the first paragraph of Article 10 EC, the Member States are to take all appropriate measures, whether general or particular, to ensure fulfilment of the obligations arising out of the EC Treaty or resulting from action taken by the institutions of the Community. Such action includes directives which, pursuant to the third paragraph of Article 249 EC, are binding, as to the result to be achieved, upon each Member State to which they are addressed. That obligation involves, for each Member State to which a directive is addressed, the adoption, within the framework of its national legal system, of all the measures necessary to ensure that the directive is fully effective, in accordance with the objective which it pursues (Case C-119/00 Commission v Luxembourg [2001] ECR I-4795, paragraph 12).

10 The mere initiation of the procedure for adoption of a law designed to transpose a directive into national law does not fulfil that requirement.

11 Moreover, it is settled case-law that the question whether a Member State has failed to fulfil its obligations must be determined by reference to the situation prevailing in the Member State at the end of the period laid down in the reasoned opinion (see, in particular, Case C-147/00 Commission v France [2001] ECR I-2387, paragraph 26).

12 In the present case, it is established that Directive 96/61 was not transposed within the period prescribed for that purpose by the reasoned opinion.

13 Accordingly, the action brought by the Commission must be regarded as well founded.

14 Consequently, it must be held that, by failing to adopt the laws, regulations and administrative measures necessary in order to comply with Directive 96/61, the Kingdom of Spain has failed to fulfil its obligations under that directive.

Decision on costs


Costs

15 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 asked for costs and the Kingdom of Spain 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 failing to adopt the laws, regulations and administrative measures necessary in order to comply with Council Directive 96/61/EC of 24 September 1996 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control, the Kingdom of Spain has failed to fulfil its obligations under that directive;

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

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