ECJ rules on habitat protection
The European Court of Justice has told the German state of Bavaria that it must take into account the ecological impact of developments in areas likely to be designated as environmentally sensitive.
The Advocate General also issued his Opinion on 18 May 2006 in Case C-244/05. The case arose following a request for a preliminary ruling having been made by the Bayerischer Verwaltungsgerichtshof (Bavarian Higher Administrative Court) in the case of Bund Naturschutz in Bayern e.V. v Freistaat Bayern. The following 3 questions were referred to the ECJ:
In answer to the request for a preliminary ruling, the Advocate General has stated that under the terms of the Habitats Directive, read alongside articles 10 and 249 of the EC Treaty, the Member States must ensure that the implementation of plans and projects does not affect the ecological interest of the sites which are proposed for designation or of the sites which, because of their characteristics, should be registered on the Community list.
However, such a decision rests with the national judge to decide if this is the case in respect of the particular projects in question.
The full Opinion of the Advocate General can be found here in a variety of European languages and should shortly be available in English.