Capital cities denied standing in EU vehicles emissions case, scoring points however on use restriction.

In Joined Cases s C-177/19 P Germany – Ville de Paris and Others v Commission, C-178/19 P Hungary – Ville de Paris and Others v Commission and C-179/19 P Commission v Ville de Paris and Others, the CJEU has annulled the General Court’s judgments in which that Court had partially upheld the Capital cities Paris, Brussels and Madrid’s objections to real driving emissions tests contained in relevant internal market legislation, Commission Regulation 2016/646.

The cities had argued that the Regulation unjustifiably curtailed their freedom to restrict vehicles access to city centres. In deciding annulment, the General Court had held as a condition for the admissibility of an action for annulment brought by a regional entity of a Member State against an act of the European Union, that the Commission Regulation was indeed of ‘direct concern’ to the regional authorities.

The CJEU has now held that the Regulation does not in fact preclude certain local restrictions on circulation which are intended, inter alia, to protect the environment: rather, it is merely geared (excuse the pun) toward the initial putting into circulation of the vehicles concerned, not their subsequent use. In seeing their standing denied, therefore, the Member States did score points on use restriction.



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