Accept Refuse

EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 62014CN0346

Case C-346/14: Action brought on 18 July 2014  — European Commission v Republic of Austria

OJ C 361, 13.10.2014, p. 3–4 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 361/3

Action brought on 18 July 2014 — European Commission v Republic of Austria

(Case C-346/14)

2014/C 361/03

Language of the case: German


Applicant: European Commission (represented by: E. Manhaeve and G. Wilms, acting as Agents)

Defendant: Republic of Austria

Form of order sought

The applicant claims that the Court should:

declare that the defendant failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 4(3) TEU in conjunction with Article 288 TFEU, in so far as by granting permission for the construction of a hydropower plant on the Schwarze Sulm (Black Sulm) it incorrectly applied the provisions of Article 4(1) in conjunction with Article 4(7) of the Water Framework Directive (1) (WFD);

order Republic of Austria to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

Austria sees to avoid the prohibition of deterioration which is laid down in Article 4(1) as a fundamental principle and thereby failed to satisfy the conditions for receiving an exception under Article 4(7) WFD.

The application of the directive ratione temporis is based on the Court’s case-law, according to which during the period allowed for transposition of a directive, Member States must refrain from taking any measures liable seriously to compromise the result prescribed by the directive (Article 4(3) TEU in conjunction with Article 288 TFEU).

The defendant bases its new decision solely on an amended assessment of the water status of the Schwarze Sulm. That amended classification (‘good’ water status instead of ‘very good’ water status) is not compatible with the original management plan. Findings and assessments in the management plan may not simply be amended as the result of an ad-hoc administrative decision based on new criteria. Otherwise, fundamental substantive provisions of the Water Framework Directive, such as in this case the prohibition of deterioration, and important procedural provisions, such as those on public participation, could be easily avoided.

(1)  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).