Language of document : ECLI:EU:C:2015:264





Judgment of the Court (Ninth Chamber) of 23 April 2015 —
Commission v Greece

(Case C‑149/14) 1(1)

Failure of a Member State to fulfil obligations — Directive 91/676/EEC — Protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources — Designation of waters and vulnerable zones — Excessive concentration of nitrates — Eutrophification — Obligation of four-yearly revision — Insufficiency — Establishment of action programmes — None

1.                     Actions for failure to fulfil obligations — Examination of the merits by the Court — Situation to be taken into consideration — Situation on expiry of the period laid down in the reasoned opinion (Art. 258 TFEU) (see para. 28)

2.                     Environment — Protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources — Directive 91/676 — Identification of waters affected by pollution or waters which could be affected by pollution — Designation of vulnerable zones — Establishment of action programmes related to those vulnerable zones — Obligations of the Member States — Failure to fulfil obligations (Council Directive 91/676, Art. 1(3)(1), 2 and 4, and 5(1) and Annex I) (see paras 35-37, 39-42, operative part)

Operative part

The Court:

1.

Declares that, by having failed to designate as vulnerable zones the zones characterised by the presence of bodies of surface water or groundwater which are affected by concentrations of nitrates above 50 milligrammes per litre and/or by the phenomenon of eutrophification, and by not having established the action programmes related to those zones within one year after that designation, the Hellenic Republic has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 3(4) and 5(1) of Council Directive 91/676/ΕEC of 12 December 1991 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources;

2.

Orders the Hellenic Republic to pay the costs.


1–      OJ C 184, 16.6.2014.