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Document 62015CN0557

Case C-557/15: Action brought on 30 October 2015 — European Commission v Republic of Malta

OJ C 7, 11.1.2016, p. 11–12 (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 7/11

Action brought on 30 October 2015 — European Commission v Republic of Malta

(Case C-557/15)

(2016/C 007/18)

Language of the case: English


Applicant: European Commission (represented by: C. Hermes, K. Mifsud-Bonnici, agents)

Defendant: Republic of Malta

The applicant claims that the Court should:

declare that by adopting a derogation regime allowing the live-capturing of seven species of wild finches (Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs, Linnet Carduelis cannabina, Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis, Greenfinch Carduelis chloris, Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes, Serin Serinus serinus and Siskin Carduelis spinus), the Republic of Malta has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 5(a) and 5(e) and 8(1) in connection with Annex IV, point (a), read in conjunction with Article 9(1), of Directive 2009/147/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds (1);

order Republic of Malta to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

Malta introduced a derogation regime for the authorization of trapping seven species of wild finches in 2014 under which it authorized trapping seasons in 2014 and 2015.

Directive 2009/147 obliges Member States to prohibit the capture and keeping of wild birds not included in Annex II, such as the finches in question, and any capture of wild birds via non-selective means such as traps or nets. Any derogation from these prohibitions is subject to the strict conditions set out in Article 9 of the Directive.

The Commission considers that Malta's derogation regime allowing the trapping of the seven finch species is inconsistent with Articles 5(a), 5(e) and 8(1) in connection with Annex IV, point (a) of the Directive.

The Commission considers that Malta has not established that the conditions for derogation set out in Article 9(1) of the Directive are met. First, Malta fails to demonstrate the absence of another satisfactory solution as required by the chapeau of Article 9(1) of the Directive. Second, Malta's derogation regime fails to provide a statement of reasons with regard to the alleged absence of other satisfactory solutions. Third, Malta has not demonstrated that the authorized activity constitutes ‘judicious use’ within the meaning of Article 9(1)(c) of the Directive. Fourth, Malta fails to demonstrate compliance with the requirement in Article 9(1)(c) of the Directive that the derogation only concerns ‘small numbers’ of birds. Fifth, Malta has not established that the authorization occurs under ‘strictly supervised conditions’ as required by Article 9(1)(c) of the Directive.

(1)  OJ L 20, p. 7.