Official Journal of the European Union
Action brought on 18 February 2022 — European Commission v Federal Republic of Germany
Language of the case: German
Applicant: European Commission (represented by: C. Hermes, M. Noll-Ehlers, acting as Agents)
Defendant: Federal Republic of Germany
Form of order sought
The applicant claims that the Court should:
declare that the Federal Republic of Germany
order the Federal Republic of Germany to pay the costs.
Pleas in law and main arguments
By the present action, the European Commission claims that the Federal Republic of Germany has failed to take the measures required by Directive 92/43/EEC as regards designation and management of its Natura 2000 network.
First, the Federal Republic of Germany has failed to fulfil its obligation under Article 4(4) of the directive by failing to designate 88 out of 4 606 areas in respect of which the six-year period laid down in that provision has expired as special areas of conservation by the point in time relevant for the purposes of the failure to fulfil obligations.
Second, the Federal Republic of Germany has disregarded its obligation under Article 4(4) of the directive to define sufficiently specific conservation objectives by failing to set any conservation objectives for 88 of the 4 606 areas in question and, moreover, by adopting, in general and in structural terms, a practice when setting conservation objectives which does not satisfy the legal requirements of that provision. Under Article 4(4) of the directive, conservation objectives should be quantified and measurable, clearly differentiate between the objective of ‘restoration’ and that of ‘conservation’ of the relevant interests protected in the respective area and be laid down in generally binding legal acts. The German practice concerning the conservation objectives does not fulfil those requirements.
Third, the Federal Republic of Germany has failed to comply with its obligation under Article 6(1) of the directive to establish the necessary conservation measures. The Federal Republic of Germany has failed to establish any conservation measures for 737 of the 4 606 areas in question and, moreover, has failed in the establishment of conservation objectives to satisfy, in general and in structural terms, the requirement under Article 6(1) of the directive according to which conservation measures should be based on sufficiently specific conservation objectives.
(1) Council Directive of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (OJ 1992 L 206, p. 7).