11.2.2012   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 39/7


Action brought on 18 October 2011 — European Commission v United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

(Case C-530/11)

2012/C 39/11

Language of the case: English

Parties

Applicant: European Commission (represented by: P. Oliver, L. Armati, Agents)

Defendant: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The applicant claims that the Court should:

declare that, by failing to transpose fully and apply correctly Articles 3(7) and 4(4) of Directive 2003/35/EC (1) of the European Parliament and of the Council providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to justice Council Directives 85/337/EC (2) and 96/61/EC (3), the United Kingdom has failed to fulfil its obligations under that Directive;

order the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

According to Articles 3(7) and 4(4) of Directive 2003/35/EC of the European Parliament and the Council, judicial proceedings relating to environmental matters must not be prohibitively expensive. This implements Article 9(4) of the Aarhus convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters which has been concluded by the Union and most of the Member States.

The Commission claims that the United Kingdom has failed to transpose these provisions in all three of its jurisdictions (England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).

On an analysis of the rules and practice applicable in those jurisdictions and an examination of the concept of ‘prohibitively expensive’ proceedings, the Commission also maintains that the United Kingdom has failed to apply those provisions correctly.


(1)  Directive 2003/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 providing for public participation in respect of the drawing up of certain plans and programmes relating to the environment and amending with regard to public participation and access to justice Council Directives 85/337/EEC and 96/61/EC — Statement by the Commission

OJ L 156, p. 17

(2)  Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment

OJ L 175, p. 40

(3)  Council Directive 96/61/EC of 24 September 1996 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control

OJ L 257, p. 26