Bulgaria and Greece to go to court for air quality breaches

In its December infringements package, the European Commission announced that it will refer Bulgaria and Greece to the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) after both countries breached air pollution limits for years despite multiple warnings.

Bulgaria has systematically and continuously failed to comply with the limit values for particulate matter (PM10) and to adopt appropriate measures to keep the period of exceedance as short as possible, the Commission said.

As Bulgaria has failed to comply with a 2017 ruling of the ECJ, the result may be financial penalties for the time elapsed since the first judgement and daily fines until full compliance is achieved.

Greece will face the court for the first time for breaching limits on PM10 in Thessaloniki for most of the past 15 years. The Commission concludes that efforts by the Greek authorities have to date been unsatisfactory and insufficient.

A letter of formal notice was sent to France for not respecting a 2019 ECJ judgment on compliance with nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) limits in 12 air quality zones and agglomerations. Continued failure to do so could lead to fines.

Source: European Commission infringement package, 3 December 2020.

Link: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/inf_20_2142

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