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CJEU - Judgment of the Court (Fifth Chamber) of 17 December 2009
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Judgment of the Court (Fifth Chamber) of 17 December 2009 – Commission v Belgium (Case C-120/09) Failure of a Member State to fulfil obligations – Directive 1999/31/EC – Landfilling of waste – Concept of ‘underground storage’, ‘landfill gas’ and ‘eluate’ – Obligation to determine the trigger levels from which it can be considered that the location of the landfill has a significant adverse effect on groundwater quality – Failure to transpose within the prescribed time-limit with regard to the Walloon Region 1. Actions for failure to fulfil obligations – Examination of the merits by the Court – Situation to be taken into consideration – Situation on expiry of the period laid down in the reasoned opinion (Art. 226 EC) (see para. 19) 2. Acts of the institutions – Directives – Implementation by Member States – Need for full transposition into national law – Fact that an activity mentioned by a directive is not carried on in one region of a Member State – No effect – Exception – Reasons of geography – Definition (Art. 249, third para, EC; Council Directive 1999/31, Art. 2(f)) (see paras 23-24) 3. Environment – Waste – Landfill of waste – Directive 1999/31 (Council Directive 1999/31, Art. 2) (see paras 27-33) 4. Member States – Obligations – Implementation of directives – Failure to fulfil obligations – Justification – Not permissible (Art. 226 EC) (see para. 37) Re: Operative part The Court: 1. Declares that, by failing to ensure the transposition with regard to the Walloon Region of Article 2(f), (j) and (k) of, and point 4C of Annex III to, Council Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste, the Kingdom of Belgium has failed to fulfil its obligations under that directive; 2. Orders the Kingdom of Belgium to bear the costs.