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Judgment of the Court of 19 March 1991.

Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Failure of a Member State to fulfil its obligations - Failure to implement a directive.

Case C-310/89.

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Judgment of 19 March 1991, Commission / Netherlands (C-310/89, ECR 1991 p. I-1381, Summ.pub.) ECLI:EU:C:1991:124

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Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of the Netherlands.

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Keywords

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1. Member States - Obligations - Implementation of directives - Failure - Justification - Not acceptable

(EEC Treaty, Art. 169)

2. Measures adopted by the Community institutions - Directives - Implementation by the Member States - Need for complete transposition - Prospect of a new directive being adopted - Immaterial

(EEC Treaty, Art. 189, third paragraph)

Summary

1. The Court has consistently held that a Member State may not plead provisions, practices or circumstances existing in its internal legal system in order to justify its failure to comply with obligations and time-limits resulting from Community directives.

2. The Member States are bound to comply with all their obligations under an existing directive. That applies even when the adoption of a proposal for a new directive in the same field is envisaged (see the judgment in Case 220/83 Commission v France [1986] ECR 3663). In any event the binding force of a directive may not be challenged as long as it has not been abrogated or amended.

Parties

In Case C-310/89,

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

applicant,

v

Kingdom of the Netherlands, represented by J. W. de Zwaan, Legal Adviser, acting as Agent, with an address for service in Luxembourg at the Netherlands Embassy, 5 rue C. M. Spoo,

defendant,

APPLICATION for a declaration that, by not adopting within the prescribed period all the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Council Directive 84/539/EEC of 17 September 1984 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to electro-medical equipment used in human or veterinary medicine (Official Journal L 300, p. 179) or at least by not informing the Commission thereof, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EEC Treaty,

THE COURT

composed of: O. Due, President, T. F. O' Higgins, G. C. Rodríguez Iglesias and M. Díez de Velasco, Presidents of Chambers, Sir Gordon Slynn, C. N. Kakouris, R. Joliet, F. A. Schockweiler and P. J. G. Kapteyn, Judges,

(The grounds of the judgment are not reproduced.)

hereby

Operative part

(1) Declares that by not adopting within the prescribed period all the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Council Directive 84/539/EEC of 17 September 1984 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to electro-medical equipment used in human or veterinary medicine or at least by not informing the Commission thereof, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EEC Treaty;

(2) Orders the Kingdom of the Netherlands to pay the costs.

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