Action brought on 11 October 2018 — European Commission v French Republic

(Case C-636/18)

Language of the case: French

Parties

Applicant: European Commission (represented by: J.-F. Brakeland, acting as Agent)

Defendant: French Republic

Form of order sought

The applicant claims that the Court should:

declare, first, that, by systematically and persistently exceeding the annual limit value for NO2 from 1 January 2010 in the following 12 agglomerations and air quality zones: Marseille (FR03A02), Toulon (FR03A03), Paris (FR04A01), Auvergne-Clermont-Ferrand (FR07A01), Montpellier (FR08A01), Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées (FR12A01), ZUR Reims Champagne-Ardenne (FR14N10), Grenoble Rhône-Alpes (FR15A01), Strasbourg (FR16A02), Lyon-Rhône-Alpes (FR20A01), ZUR Vallée de l’Arve Rhône-Alpes (FR20N10) and Nice (FR24A01) and by systematically and persistently exceeding the hourly limit value for NO2 from 1 January 2010 in the following two agglomerations and air quality zones: Paris (FR04A01) and Lyon Rhône-Alpes (FR20A01), the French Republic has continued to fail to fulfil its obligations under Article 13(1) of Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe, 1 read in conjunction with Annex XI to that directive, from the coming into force of the limit values in 2010,

and

secondly, that the French Republic has failed, from 11 June 2010, to fulfil its obligations under Article 23(1) of Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe, read in conjunction with Annex XV to that directive, and in particular the obligation laid down in the second subparagraph of Article 23(1) of that directive to ensure that the exceedance period is kept as short as possible;

order the French Republic to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

From 2010, the annual and hourly limit values of NO2 were systematically and persistently exceeded in the 12 and two zones, respectively. Those exceedances in themselves constitute an infringement of Article 13(1) of Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe, read in conjunction with Annex XI to that directive.

Notwithstanding that infringement of Article 13(1) of Directive 2008/50/EC, read in conjunction with Annex XI thereto, the French Republic has not adopted, contrary to what is provided for by the second subparagraph of Article 23(1) of Directive 2008/50/EC, any appropriate measures in air quality plans in order to ensure that the period during which limits are exceeded can be kept as short as possible.

The lack of effectiveness of those measures is apparent from, inter alia, the duration of the period during which limit values were exceeded, the level of those exceedances, their development and the detailed analysis of each of the plans adopted by the French authorities for the 12 zones concerned.

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1 OJ 2008 L 152, p. 1.