Greece, Luxembourg in the dock

Countries condemned for failure to implement EU law on habitats, dangerous substances

Greece was today condemned by the European Court of Justice for failing to transpose the 1992 EU habitats directive into national law. The ruling is one of a series of infringement proceedings launched by the European Commission over non-application of the directive by member states. The Commission put Greece on formal notice for failing to transpose the habitats directive in 1994. It launched full legal proceedings when no reply to its letter was received after two months. Meanwhile, Greece was in further trouble in the European Court today, for lack of action to protect the water environment from dangerous substances. The advocate general - a senior EU law officer -recommended that the court condemn Greece for having failed to adopt a programme to reduce discharges of "grey list" dangerous substances into three water bodies, as required under the 1976 directive on dangerous substances in the aquatic environment. Opinions of advocates general are not binding on the court, but are usually followed. In a separate case today, the advocate general recommended condemnation of Luxembourg for failure to adopt a programme to reduce discharges of 99 grey list substances.

Follow Up:
European Court of Justice , tel: +352 43031. References: Habitats judgement: case C-329/96; Dangerous substances opinions: joined cases C-232/95 and C-233/95, and case C-206/96.

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