ECJ rejects Spain’s case for Madrid motorway

Madrid’s regional government infringed the EU’s environmental impact assessment and habitats directives when it built the M-501 motorway through a protected site, the European court said in a judgement published on Thursday.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) rejected Spain’s argument that adequate evaluation had been carried out and that the project could be justified by the need to guarantee road safety. Spain’s supreme court came to a similar conclusion earlier this year, backing an earlier ruling that requires the motorway’s removal.

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