7.9.2015   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 294/3


Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 1 July 2015 (request for a preliminary ruling from the Bundesverwaltungsgericht — Germany) — Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V. v Bundesrepublik Deutschland

(Case C-461/13) (1)

((Reference for a preliminary ruling - Environment - EU action in the field of water policy - Directive 2000/60/EC - Article 4(1) - Environmental objectives relating to surface waters - Deterioration of the status of a body of surface water - Project for the development of a navigable waterway - Obligation of the Member States not to authorise a project that may cause a deterioration of the status of a body of surface water - Decisive criteria for determining whether there is a deterioration of the status of a body of water))

(2015/C 294/04)

Language of the case: German

Referring court

Bundesverwaltungsgericht

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V.

Defendant: Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Joined party: Freie Hansestadt Bremen

Operative part of the judgment

1.

Article 4(1)(a)(i) to (iii) of Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy must be interpreted as meaning that the Member States are required — unless a derogation is granted — to refuse authorisation for an individual project where it may cause a deterioration of the status of a body of surface water or where it jeopardises the attainment of good surface water status or of good ecological potential and good surface water chemical status by the date laid down by the directive.

2.

The concept of ‘deterioration of the status’ of a body of surface water in Article 4(1)(a)(i) of Directive 2000/60 must be interpreted as meaning that there is deterioration as soon as the status of at least one of the quality elements, within the meaning of Annex V to the directive, falls by one class, even if that fall does not result in a fall in classification of the body of surface water as a whole. However, if the quality element concerned, within the meaning of that annex, is already in the lowest class, any deterioration of that element constitutes a ‘deterioration of the status’ of a body of surface water, within the meaning of Article 4(1)(a)(i).


(1)  OJ C 352, 30.11.2013.