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Slovenia referred back to Court because of pollution

In its February package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing a total of 276 legal actions against Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law. The 276 decisions taken by the Commission include 44 reasoned opinions and 9 referals to the European Union’s Court of Justice.

Commission is referring Italy to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to meet its responsibilities adequately with regard to managing the recovery of the levy for overproduction of milk. This levy should be paid by individual producers having exceeded their individual dairy quotas. Greece, over a failure to ensure that waste water is properly treated. Germany, in two cases, firstly as national rules for pyrotechnic goods, which include fireworks, do not comply with EU law and secondly to ensure that the German VAT legislation on exemptions for sharing costs of services complies with EU law. Portugal for its failure to amend registration tax rules for imported second-hand vehicles. Austria and Luxembourg for not complying with the EU Regulation establishing the rights of passengers travelling by bus and coach. Denmark for not correctly transposing European rules on rail safety.

Commission also referred Slovenia back to Court for its failure to license industrial installations that are operating without permits. Such permits should only be issued if a number of environmental criteria are met. In 2010 the Court ruled that Slovenia was failing in its obligation to ensure that all installations operate in line with EU rules on pollution prevention and control. Four years after that judgment, a major cement factory is still operating without the necessary permit, and potentially endangering citizens’ health. The Commission is asking for a daily penalty payment of EUR 9,009 from today until the obligations are fulfilled and a lump sum of EUR 1,604,603.

Slovenia also received a formal request from the Commission regarding EU rules on Energy Efficiency Directive. While Slovenia already transposed the Directive into national law, it did not submit a National Energy Efficiency Action Plan and long-term strategy for mobilizing investment in the renovation of the national stock of residential and commercial buildings. This should have been done by 30 April 2014. If Slovenia does not comply within two months, the Commission may decide to refer them to the Court of Justice.


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