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Parliamentary questions
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12 June 2019
Answer given by Mr Vella on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-001815/2019

1-2. As referred in its answer to Written Question E-002485/2018, ‘the Commission is aware of the worrying situation of the urban waste water system in Calabria that has had direct impact on the quality of the bathing water in the region’.

Significant EU and national resources are available to the Calabria region to accelerate compliance with relevant EC law. Based on available information, over EUR 85 million was spent, in the waste water treatment sector, by the Calabria Region in the 2007-2013 programming period under the European Regional Development Fund, and almost EUR 50 million is planned to be spent in the 2014-2020 period.

Considering that compliance with judgment of 19 July 2012 in Case C-565/10(1) was still lacking for 80 Italian agglomerations, 13 of which concern the region of Calabria, in May 2017 the Commission referred the case to the Court for the second time. By its judgment of 31 May 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union declared, that, by failing to adopt all the measures necessary to implement the judgment of 19 July 2012, Italy has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 260 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union(2).

Italy has been ordered to pay a lump sum of EUR 25 million as well as a fine of EUR 30 112 500 for every six months of delay in complying with EC law on urban waste water compared to the 11 February 2016 deadline set by the first Court ruling issued on 19 July 2012.

The Commission expects that both the planned co-funded investments and the payment of a penalty payment will be appropriate means to incentivise the Italian authorities to take the necessary measures to put an end to the breach found in Italy — including in Calabria — and thus to ensure the complete execution of the judgment of 19 July 2012.

3. Having regard to the judgment issued by the Court of Justice on 31 May 2018 on this matter, the Commission follows developments closely and expects the competent Italian authorities to take all the necessary measures to comply with Directive 91/271/EEC(3) in the near future.

(1)Judgment of the Court of 19 July 2012, European Commission v Italian Republic, C-565/10, unpublished, EU: C: 2012: 476.
(2)Court press release No 74/2018: https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2018-05/cp180074fr.pdf
(3)Directive 91/271/EEC on the Urban Waste Water Treatment, OJ L 135, 30.5.1991, p. 40‐52 (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:31991L0271).

Last updated: 13 June 2019Legal notice