Greece infringing EU law by not prohibiting uncontrolled management of landfill site at Natura 2000 site>> The Waste Framework Directive (Directive 2008/98, herinafter: „ WFD”) requires Member States to take the necessary measures to ensure that waste management is carried out without endangering human health and without harming the environment. Member States are also required to prohibit the abandonment, dumping or uncontrolled management of waste. In addition, all grants of landfill permits are subject to certain condition (on the basis of the landfll Directve (Directive 1999/31)) while the Habitats Directive requires that the effects of projects likely to affect a site significantly must be appropriately assessed by reference to objectives relating to the conservation of habitats and of wild fauna and flora.
The Court held that Member State may not plead practical difficulties, administrative or financial to justify failure to observe obligations and time limits laid down by a directive (see, to that effect, Commission / United Kingdom C -301/10, EU: C: 2012:633).
The Court reiterated that the existence of an infringement must be assessed according to the situation of the Member State as it stood at the end of the deadline set in the reasoned opinion (see Commission / France, C-193/12, EU: C: 2013:394; and Commission / Spain, C-67/12, EU: C: 2014:5). The Court noted that Greece had not taken any steps to meet its obligations under Articles 13 and 36, paragraph 1 of Directive 2008/98, ), 12 and 14 of Directive 1999/31 and 6, paragraph 3, of the Habitats Directive.
The Court reiterated that according to its case-law on the burden of proof in the context of infringement proceedings under Article 258 TFEU, it was for the Commission to establish the existence of alleged breach. So she must provide the Court with the information necessary to verify by it of the existence of such breach (see, to that effect, Commission / Finland, C-335/07, EU: C: 2009:612 and Commission / United Kingdom, EU: C: 2012:633).
The Cour held that where the Commission had provided sufficient evidence, it was for the Member State concerned to challenge in substance and in detail the information produced and the consequences (see stops Commission / Finland, EU: C: 2009:612, and Commission / United Kingdom, EU: C: 2012:633).
Text of Judgment