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Главная->Право->Содержание->Принципи європейського права навколишнього середовища101

Європейське право навколишнього середовища

Принципи європейського права навколишнього середовища101

49 Finally, the codes of good agricultural practice adopted by the Member States under Article 4(1)(a) of the Directive are to take account of conditions in the different regions of the Community (paragraph A of Annex II).

50 It follows that the Directive contains flexible provisions enabling the Member States to observe the principle of proportionality in the application of the meas­ures which they adopt. It is for the national courts to ensure that that principle is observed.

51 As regards the polluter pays principle, suffice it to state that the Directive does not mean that farmers must take on burdens for the elimination of pollution to which they have not contributed.

52 As has been pointed out in paragraphs 46 and 48 of this judgment, the Member States are to take account of the other sources of pollution when implementing the Directive and, having regard to the circumstances, are not to impose on farmers costs of eliminating pollution that are unnecessary. Viewed in that light, the polluter pays principle reflects the principle of proportionality on which the Court has already expressed its view (paragraphs 46 to 50 of this judgment).

53 The same applies to breach of the principle that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source, since the arguments of the applicants in the main proceedings are indissociable from their arguments relating to breach of the principle of proportionality.

54 As regards infringement of the right to property, the Court has consistently held that, while the right to property forms part of the general principles of Community law, it is not an absolute right and must be viewed in relation to its social function. Consequently, its exercise may be restricted, provided that those restrictions in fact correspond to objectives of general interest pursued by the Community and do not constitute a disproportionate and intolerable interference, impairing the very substance of the rights guaranteed (Case 44/79 Hauer v Land Rheinland-Pfalz [1979] ECR 3727, paragraph 23, Case 265/87 Schrдder v Hauptzollamt Gronau [1989] ECR 2237, paragraph 15, and Case C-280/93 Germany v Council [1994] ECR I-4973, paragraph 78).

55 It is true that the action programmes which are provided for in Article 5 of the Directive and are to contain the mandatory measures referred to in Annex III impose certain conditions on the spreading of fertiliser and livestock manure, so that those programmes are liable to restrict the exercise by the farmers concerned of the right to property.

56 However, the system laid down in Article 5 reflects requirements relating to the protection of public health, and thus pursues an objective of general interest without the substance of the right to property being impaired.

57 While the institutions and the Member States are bound by the principle of pro­portionality when pursuing such an objective, the Directive does not, as has been found in paragraphs 46 to 50 of this judgment, offend against that principle.

58 Accordingly, it must be concluded that consideration of the questions raised has disclosed no factor of such a kind as to affect the validity of the Directive.


59 The costs incurred by the United Kingdom, French and Swedish Governments and by the Council and the Commission, which have submitted observations to



102Розділ 4

the Court, are not recoverable. Since these proceedings are, for the parties to the main proceedings, a step in the actions pending before the national court, the decision on costs is a matter for that court.

On those grounds,

THE COURT (Fifth Chamber),

in answer to the questions referred to it by the High Court of Justice of England and Wales, Queen’s Bench Division, by order of 17 June 1997, hereby rules:

1.  Articles 2(j) and 3(1) of Council Directive 91/676/EEC of 12 December 1991 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources and Annex I thereto must be interpreted as requiring the identification of surface freshwaters as ‘waters affected by pollution’, and therefore the designation as ‘vulnerable zones’ in accordance with Article 3(2) of that directive of all known areas of land which drain into those waters and contribute to their pollution, where those waters contain a concentration of nitrates in excess of 50 mg/l and the Member State concerned considers that the discharge of nitrogen compounds from agricultural sources makes a ‘significant contribution’ to that overall concentration of nitrates.

2.  Consideration of the questions raised has disclosed no factor of such a kind as to affect the validity of Directive 91/676.

Jann Moitinho de Almeida Gulmann

Edward Sevуn

Delivered in open court in Luxembourg on 29 April 1999.

R. Grass

J.-P. Puissochet


President of the Fifth Chamber


1.   Чому Суд розглядає поняття „significant contribution”? Якими кри­теріями керується чи міг би керуватись Суд (повинен керуватись), визначаючи зміст терміну „significant”?

2.   Суд стверджує, що Директива 91/676/ЄЕС не порушує принципів „забруднювач платить” та пропорційності. За яких умов Директива порушувала б такі принципи? Чому, на думку Суду, національні суди повинні вирішувати питання порушення цих принципів в межах сфери застосування Директиви?

3.   Суд встановив єдину обставину для обґрунтування відсутності порушення принципів „забруднювач платить” та пропорційності. Чи говорить це про зв’язок між цими принципами? Обґрунтуйте.



Принципи європейського права навколишнього середовища103


1.   Договір про заснування Європейського Співтовариства (Євро­пейський Союз. Консолідовані договори. — К., 1999.).

2.   Договір про заснування Європейського Союзу (Європейський Союз. Консолідовані договори. — К., 1999.).

3.   Communication from the Commission “European Governance: Better Lawmaking // COM(2002) 275 final.

4.   Commission Communication to the European Council. Partnership for Integration — A Strategy for Integrating Environment into European Union Policies. // COM (98)333.

5.   Communication from the Commission “A Sustainable Europe for a Better World: A European Union Strategy for Sustainable Develop­ment. // COM (2001) 264 final.

6.   Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions “Towards a global partnership for sustainable development”. // COM (2002) 82 final.

7.   Communication form the Commission on the Precautionary Principle // COM (2000) 1.

8.   White Paper on Environmental Liability //COM (2000) 66 final.

9.   Рекомендація Ради від 3 березня 1975 року щодо розподілу затрат і дій державних органів влади з екологічних питань. // OJ L 194, 25.07.1975