In June, the European Commission referred Belgium and Bulgaria to the EU Court of Justice over persistently high levels of particulate matter (PM10). EU legislation has set limit values for PM10 since 2005. In case of exceedance of such limit values, member states shall adopt air quality plans and ensure that such plans set appropriate measures so that the exceedance period can be kept as short as possible.
The main limit values for which there are compliance problems in the EU are PM10 and nitrogen dioxide (NO₂), and for PM10 there are court cases against 16 member states. For NO₂, there are six procedures under way.
The Commission also sent a reasoned opinion to Sweden for poor air quality. Sweden has previously been condemned by the Court for not meeting PM10 limit values between 2005 and 2007. If Sweden fails to act, the Commission may take the matter to the EU Court of Justice.
In addition, letters of formal notice on NO₂ were sent to France, Germany and Spain.
Source: European Commission press release, 18 June 2015