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Judgment of the Court of 10 December 1991.

Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Belgium.

Failure to fulfil obligations - Non-compliance with a judgment of the Court.

Case C-19/91.

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Judgment of 10 December 1991, Commission / Belgium (C-19/91, ECR 1991 p. I-5937, Summ.pub.) ECLI:EU:C:1991:471

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Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Belgium.

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Keywords

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1. Member States - Obligations - Failure to fulfil - Justification - None

(EEC Treaty, Art. 169)

2. Action for failure to fulfil obligations - Judgment of the Court finding a failure - Period for compliance

(EEC Treaty, Art. 171)

Summary

1. As the Court has consistently held, a Member State may not plead provisions, practices or circumstances existing within its internal legal system in order to justify a failure to discharge its obligations under Community law.

2. The immediate and uniform application of Community law requires that the process of complying with a judgment declaring that a Member State has failed to fulfil its obligations must be initiated at once and must be completed as soon as possible (see the judgment in Case 169/87 Commission v France [1988] ECR 4093).

Parties

In Case C-19/91,

Commission of the European Communities, represented by Xavier Lewis, a member of its Legal Service, acting as Agent, with an address for service in Luxembourg at the office of Roberto Hayder, a representative of the Legal Service, Wagner Centre, Kirchberg,

applicant,

v

Kingdom of Belgium, represented by J. Devadder, Adviser in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, acting as Agent, with an address for service in Luxembourg at the Belgian Embassy, Résidence Champagne, 4 Rue des Girondins,

defendant,

Application for a declaration that, by failing to comply with the judgment delivered by the Court of Justice on 24 May 1988 in Case 307/86 Commission v Belgium [1988] ECR 2677 on the transposition into Belgium law of Council Directive 87/714/EEC of 4 October 1982 laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels (Official Journal 1982 L 301, p. 1), the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EEC Treaty and in particular Article 171,

THE COURT,

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

(The grounds of the judgment are not reproduced.)

hereby:

Operative part

1. Declares that, by failing to adopt the measures necessary to comply with the judgment of the Court of Justice of 24 May 1988, the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 171 of the EEC Treaty;

2. Orders the Kingdom of Belgium to pay the costs.

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