ECJ said it was “irrelevant” whether the breaches were by intent, neglect or attributable to technical or structural difficulties. Photo: Flickr.com / Evan Bench CC BY
France found guilty of breaching NO2 limits
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that France “systematically and persistently” breached EU limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) across 12 urban areas, including Paris, Marseille, Strasbourg, Nice and Toulouse. The limits should have been met in 2010.
The ECJ referred to article 23 of the Air Quality Directive, which states that measures must be taken to ensure that the exceedance time is kept “as short as possible”. It also said that it was “irrelevant” whether the breaches were by intent, neglect or attributable to technical or structural difficulties.
The ruling was a clear win for the Commission, which took the case to the ECJ as the final step of its infringement process. It also sets the tone for a spate of other dirty air cases against member states that include Germany, UK, Italy and more recently Spain and Bulgaria, which are still pending a decision.
Source: Ends Europe Daily, 24 October 2019
ECJ press release: https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2019-10/cp19013...