Language of document :

Action brought on 4 May 2021 – European Commission v French Republic

(Case C-286/21)

Language of the case: French


Applicant: European Commission (represented by: O. Beynet, M. Noll-Ehlers, acting as Agents)

Defendant: French Republic

Form of order sought

The Commission claims that the Court should:

first, declare that, by systematically and persistently exceeding the daily limit value for fine particulate matter (PM10) from 1 January 2005 in the Paris agglomeration and air quality zone (FR04A01/FR11ZAG01) and from 1 January 2005 until 2016 inclusive in the Martinique/Fort-de-France zone (FR39N10/FR02ZAR01), the French Republic has continuously failed 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;

secondly, declare that the French Republic has failed, in those two zones from 11 June 2010, to fulfil its obligations under the second subparagraph of Article 23(1) of Directive 2008/50/EC, read in conjunction with Annex XV to that directive, and in particular its obligation to ensure that the exceedance period is kept as short as possible.

Pleas in law and main arguments

As regards Paris, the daily limit value was not complied with uninterruptedly from 2005 until the latest data available, that is, in 2019. Furthermore, the compliance gap regarding the exceedances of the daily limit value in the Paris zone is substantial (since the number of exceedances is double the permitted number of exceedances) and has not improved since 2015. As regards the Martinique zone, the daily limit value was not complied with continuously until 2016 (with the exception of 2008).

In the two zones of Paris and Martinique, the limit values for PM10 were exceeded when the time limit for responding to the reasoned opinion expired. At that time, France should have established and notified plans. Analysis shows that France has not adopted such plans. The measures taken (at national and regional level) by France failed to ensure that the exceedance period is kept as short as possible, as required by the provisions of Directive 2008/50/EC.


1 OJ 2008 L 152, p. 1.