You are on page 1of 1

C 299/28 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 26.9.

98

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, (2) Secretary conforms to the limit values set in accordance with
of State for the Environment, ex parte: Monsante plc, and Article 3 of Council Directive 76/160/EEC of
I Pi Ci SpA, Intervener, on the following questions: 8 December 1975 concerning the quality of bathing
water (1) within 10 years following the notification of
1. Whenever a Member State authorises the placing on this Directive, the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to
the market in its territory of a plant protection fulfil its obligations under Article 4 of Directive 76/
product pursuant to Article 8(2) of Council Directive 160/EEC and the third paragraph of Article 189 of the
91/414/EEC of 15 July 1991 concerning the placing of EC Treaty, and
plant protection products on the market (1), does
Article 8(3) of that Directive apply so as to require the
2. order the Kingdom of Belgium to pay the costs.
Member State to evaluate the application for
authorisation in accordance with the requirements laid
down in Article 4(1)(b)(i) to (v) and (c) to (f)?' Pleas in law and main arguments adduced in support:

2. If the answer to question 1 is in the affirmative, is the
Member State under an obligation to apply the Under the third paragraph of Article 189 of the EC Treaty,
requirements of Article 4(1)(b)(i) to (v) to such in conjunction with Article 4(1) of Directive 76/160/EEC,
applications in the light of current scientific and Belgium is required to make the quality of its bathing
technical knowledge'? waters conform to the limit values set in accordance with
Article 3 of the Directive within 10 years, a period which
expired on 11 December 1985.
3. If the answer to question 1 is in the affirmative, is the
Member State also under an obligation to apply the
requirements of Article 4(1)(c) to (f) to such In the Commission's view, the Walloon Region authorities
applications in the light of current scientific and were wrong to revise in 1996 the list of bathing areas and
technical knowledge'? withdraw some 30 bathing sites so that there appear to
remain only 10 officially designated bathing areas. The
4. If the answers to questions 1, 2 and/or 3 are in the grounds relied on in order to justify such revision are not
affirmative is the Member State under an obligation to sufficient in order to exclude the sites in question from the
ensure that its national provisions concerning the data bathing waters covered by the Directive. The Belgian
to be provided (as referred to in Articles 8(3) and authorities advertise no fewer than 16 of those sites in the
13(6) of the Directive) permit an evaluation to be 1998 guide to camping sites as bathing areas available
carried out in accordance with the criteria laid down within a short distance from those camping sites.
in Article 4(1)(b)(i) to (v) and (c) to (f) of the Directive
in the light of current scientific and technical
knowledge'? The measures adopted by Belgium in order to make the
quality of the waters conform to the limit values set
(1) OJ L 230, 19.8.1991, p. 1. pursuant to Article 4 of the Directive, in particular the
programmes of investment in water purification both in
Flanders and in the Walloon Region, are inadequate; the
Belgian authorities mention the setting up of water
treatment infrastructures in general without being specific
about their impact on the improvement of bathing-water
quality. So far as concerns Flanders, the water purification
Action brought on 5 August 1998 by the Commission of programme does not even cover all the bathing areas. As
the European Communities against the Kingdom of to the Walloon Region, the programmes contain no details
Belgium as to the dates for the start and completion of the work
(Case C-307/98) on the infrastructures provided for or information on the
exact location of those works.
(98/C 299/43)

An action against the Kingdom of Belgium was brought According to the report on the quality of bathing waters
before the Court of Justice of the European Communities during the 1995 bathing season for the whole of Belgium
on 5 August 1998 by the Commission of the European (EUR 16755), the rate of conformity of freshwater bathing
Communities, represented by Francisco de Sousa Fialho, areas was 41,4 %. The report on the quality of bathing
of its Legal Service, and O. Couvert-CasteÂra, a national waters during the 1996 bathing season for the whole of
civil servant on secondment to the Legal Service, acting as Belgium (EUR 17629) indicates that, even if the 30 sites
Agents, with an address for service in Luxembourg at the indicated by the Walloon Region are removed from the list
office of Carlos Gómez de la Cruz, of its Legal Service, of Walloon sites taken into account for the purpose of
Wagner Centre, Kirchberg. drawing up the annual reports on the implementation of
the Directive, the level of conformity is only 85,5 %.
The applicant claims that the Court should:
(1) OJ L 31, 5.2.1976, p. 1.

1. declare that, by failing to adopt the necessary
measures to ensure that the quality of bathing water