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Judgment of the Court of 25 July 1991.

Commission of the European Communities v Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Failure of a Member State to fulfil its obligations - Containers of liquids for human consumption - Failure to transpose a directive and to communicate programmes.

Case C-252/89.

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Judgment of 25 July 1991, Commission / Luxembourg (C-252/89, ECR 1991 p. I-3973, Summ.pub.) ECLI:EU:C:1991:321

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Commission of the European Communities v Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

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Keywords

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Member States - Obligations - Implementation of directives - Failure to fulfil obligations - Justification - Not permissible

(EEC Treaty, Art. 169)

Summary

As the Court has consistently held (see in particular the judgment in Case C-374/89 Commission v Belgium [1991] ECR I-367), a Member State may not plead provisions, practices or circumstances of its own legal system in order to justify a failure to comply with obligations and time-limits resulting from Community law. This same case-law establishes that practical difficulties which appear at the stage when a Community measure is put into effect cannot permit a Member State unilaterally to opt out of fulfilling its obligations.

Parties

In Case C-252/89,

Commission of the European Communities, represented by Maria Condou-Durande, a member of its Legal Service, acting as Agent, with an address for service in Luxembourg at the office of Guido Berardis, also a member of the Commission' s Legal Service, Wagner Centre, Kirchberg,

applicant,

v

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, represented by Claude Franck, Attaché de Gouvernement Premier en Rang in the Ministry of Town and Country Planning and of the Environment, acting as Agent, with an address for service in Luxembourg at that ministry, 5A Rue de Prague,

defendant,

APPLICATION for a declaration that, by failing to draw up and communicate to the Commission the programmes and to adopt and communicate the laws, regulations and administrative measures needed to comply with Council Directive 85/339/EEC of 27 June 1985 on containers of liquids for human consumption (Official Journal 1985 L 176, p. 18), the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EEC Treaty,

THE COURT,

composed of: O. Due, President, G.F. Mancini, G.C. Rodríguez Iglesias, M. Díez de Velasco (Presidents of Chambers), Sir Gordon Slynn, C.N. Kakouris, R. Joliet, F.A. Schockweiler, P.J.G. Kapteyn, Judges,

(The grounds of the judgment are not reproduced.)

hereby rules:

Operative part

1. By failing to draw up and communicate to the Commission the programmes and to adopt and communicate the laws, regulations and administrative measures needed to comply with Council Directive 85/339/EEC of 27 June 1985 on containers of liquids for human consumption, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EEC Treaty.

2. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is ordered to pay the costs.

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