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Document 62011CJ0403

Judgment of the Court (Sixth Chamber), 4 October 2012.
European Commission v Kingdom of Spain.
Failure of Member State to fulfil obligations – Directive 2000/60/EC – River basin management plans – Publication and reporting to the Commission – Public information and consultation – Failure to undertake.
Case C‑403/11.

European Court Reports 2012 -00000

ECLI identifier: ECLI:EU:C:2012:612





Judgment of the Court (Sixth Chamber) of 4 October 2012 —
Commission v Spain

(Case C-403/11)

Failure of Member State to fulfil obligations – Directive 2000/60/EC – River basin management plans – Publication and reporting to the Commission – Public information and consultation – Failure to undertake

1.                     Actions for failure to fulfil obligations – Proof of failure – Burden of proof on the Commission – Submission of evidence that the obligation has not been fulfilled – Burden on the Member State concerned to refute evidence (Art. 258 TFEU) (see para. 20)

2.                     Environment – Community water policy – Directive 2000/60 – Obligation of the Member States to publish river basin management plans – Failure to comply with the obligation to consult the public and to provide the Commission and the Member States concerned with copies of those plans – Failure to fulfill obligations (European Parliament and Council Directive 2000/60, Arts 13(1) to (3) and (6), 14(1)(c) and 15(1) (see paras 21-23)

3.                     Member States – Obligations – Failure to fulfil obligations – Justification based on the national legal system – Not permissible (Art. 258 TFEU) (see para. 25)

Re:

Failure of a Member State to fulfil obligations – Infringement of Article 13(1), (2), (3) and (6), Article 14(1)(c) and Article 15(1) of Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (OJ 2000 L 327, p. 1) – River basin management plans – Public information and consultation – Reporting of those management plans.

Operative part

The Court:

1.

Declares that the Kingdom of Spain:

–        by failing to adopt, by 22 December 2009, river basin management plans, except in the case of the river basin district of Catalonia, and by failing to send to the European Commission and other Member States concerned, by 22 March 2010, copies of those plans, in accordance with Article 13(1) to (3) and (6) and Article 15(1) of Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, as amended by Directive 2008/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2008, and

–        by not having undertaken, by no later than 22 December 2008, except as regards the river basin districts of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Tenerife, Guadiana, Guadalquivir, Andalusian Mediterranean basin, Tinto-Odiel-Piedras, Guadalete-Barbate, Galician coast, Miño-Sil, Douro, Western Cantabria and Eastern Cantabria, the process of public information and consultation concerning the proposed river basin management plans, in accordance with Article 14(1)(c) of that directive;

has failed to fulfil its obligations under those provisions;

2.

Orders the Kingdom of Spain to pay the costs.

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