Communication: new case No. 0085 of 2022

IDENTIFIER
62022CN0085
LANGUAGE
English
COURT
Court of Justice of the European Union
AG OPINION
NO
REFERENCES MADE
5
REFERENCED
0
DOCUMENT TYPE
Communication: new case

Judgment



4.4.2022   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 148/17


Action brought on 8 February 2022 — European Commission v Republic of Bulgaria

(Case C-85/22)

(2022/C 148/24)

Language of the case: Bulgarian

Parties

Applicant: European Commission (represented by: Gr. Koleva, C. Hermes)

Defendant: Republic of Bulgaria

Form of order sought

The applicant claims that the Court should:

(1)

declare that the Republic of Bulgaria has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 4(4) and Article 6(1) of Directive 92/43/EEC (1) on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (‘the Habitats Directive’), by:

failing to designate as soon as possible and within six years at most as special areas of conservation (‘SACs’) 194 out of a total of 229 sites of Community importance (‘SCIs’), adopted by Decisions 2009/93/EC, 2009/91/EC and 2009/92/EC of 12 December 2008 and Decision 2013/23/EU of 16 November 2012;

systematically and persistently failing to fulfil its obligation to set detailed site-specific conservation objectives;

systematically and persistently failing to fulfil its obligation to establish the necessary conservation measures which correspond to the ecological requirements of the natural habitat types in Annex I and the species in Annex II present on the site, and

failing correctly to transpose Article 6(1) into national law.

(2)

order Bulgaria to pay the costs of the proceedings.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The present case concerns the incorrect transposition of Article 6(1) and the misapplication of Article 4(4) and Article 6(1) of the Habitats Directive on the part of Bulgaria.

Article 4(4) of the Habitats Directive requires, inter alia, once a given site has been adopted as a site of Community importance in accordance with the procedure laid down in paragraph 2 of that provision, that the Member State concerned designate it as an SAC as soon as possible and within six years at most. In the judgment in Case C-849/19, Commission v Greece (EU:C:2020:1047), the Court stated that the Member States are required also to set specific conservation objectives for each SAC. Article 6(1) of the Habitats Directive provides that in the context of SACs, Member States are to establish the necessary conservation measures involving, if need be, appropriate management plans specifically designed for the sites or integrated into other development plans, and appropriate statutory, administrative or contractual measures which correspond to the ecological requirements of the natural habitat types in Annex I and the species in Annex II present on the sites.

According to the Commission, the Republic of Bulgaria has failed to fulfil its obligations under those provisions to designate SACs within the required time limit; to set detailed site-specific conservation objectives; to establish the necessary conservation measures; and correctly to transpose into national law Article 6(1) of the Habitats Directive.


(1)  OJ 1992 L 206, p. 7.



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