Action brought on 17 December 2020 – European Commission v Portuguese Republic

(Case C-687/20)

Language of the case: Portuguese

Parties

Applicant: European Commission (represented by: M. Noll-Ehlers and G. Braga da Cruz, acting as Agents)

Defendant: Portuguese Republic

Form of order sought

The applicant claims that the Court should:

declare that, by not having drafted strategic road maps relating to five main roads, the Portuguese Republic failed to fulfil its obligations pursuant to the first paragraph of Article 7(2) of Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 June 2002 relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise; 1

declare that, by not having drafted action plans relating to the agglomerations of Amadora and Porto, action plans relating to 236 main roads, or action plans relating to 55 main railway routes, the Portuguese Republic failed to fulfil its obligations pursuant to Article 8(2) of the directive;

declare that, by not having communicated to the Commission the information from the strategic noise maps relating five main roads and, further, by not having communicated to the Commission the summaries of the action plans relating to the agglomerations of Amadora and Porto, together with those relating to 236 main road and 55 main railway routes, the Portuguese Republic failed to fulfil its obligations pursuant to Article 10(2) of the directive, read in conjunction with Annex VI thereto;

order the Portuguese Republic to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

Under Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 June 2002 relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise (‘the directive’), which is of relevance in the present proceedings, the Portuguese authorities were required to take the steps indicated below.

(1) In the first place, under the second subparagraph of Article 7(2) of the directive, inform the Commission of all the agglomerations, and all the main roads and railways routes located in Portuguese territory, by 31 December 2008.

(2) In the second place, under the first subparagraph of Article 7(2) of the directive, draft strategic noise maps for all agglomerations and all main roads and railway routes, reflecting the situation in reference year 2011, by 30 June 2012. Furthermore, the Portuguese authorities were to send information on those strategic noise maps to the Commission by 30 December 2012, in accordance with Article 10(2) of the directive, read in conjunction with Annex VI thereto.

(3) In the third place, under Article 8(2) of the directive, draft, action plans in respect of all agglomerations and all main roads and railway lines located in Portuguese territory, by 18 July 2013. Furthermore, the Portuguese authorities were to send summaries of those action plans to the Commission by 18 January 2014, in accordance with Article 10(2) of the directive, read in conjunction with Annex VI thereto.

It should be noted that the aforementioned obligations incumbent on the Portuguese authorities constitute three successive stages laid down in the directive, with the second and third stages each being based on the immediately preceding stage.

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1 JO 2002, L 189, p. 12.