Official Journal of the European Union

C 301/11

Reference for a preliminary ruling from the Najvyšší súd Slovenskej republiky (Slovak Republic) lodged on 23 August 2010 — Jozef Križan and Others v Slovenská inšpekcia životného prostredia

(Case C-416/10)


2010/C 301/15

Language of the case: Slovenian

Referring court

Najvyšší súd Slovenskej republiky

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicants: Jozef Križan, Katarína Aksamitová, Gabriela Kokošková, Jozef Kokoška, Martina Strezenická, Jozef Strezenický, Peter Šidlo, Lenka Šidlová, Drahoslava Šidlová, Milan Šimovič, Elena Šimovičová, Stanislav Aksamit, Tomáš Pitoňák, Petra Pitoňáková, Mária Križanová, Vladimír Mizerák, Ľubomír Pevný, Darina Brunovská, Mária Fišerová, Lenka Fišerová, Peter Zvolenský, Katarína Zvolenská, Kamila Mizeráková, Anna Konfráterová, Milan Konfráter, Michaela Konfráterová, Tomáš Pavlovič, Jozef Krivošík, Ema Krivošíková, Eva Pavlovičová, Jaroslav Pavlovič, Pavol Šipoš, Martina Šipošová, Jozefína Šipošová, Zuzana Šipošová, Ivan Čaputa, Zuzana Čaputová, Štefan Strapák, Katarína Strapáková, František Slezák, Agnesa Slezáková, Vincent Zimka, Elena Zimková, Marián Šipoš, mesto Pezinok

Defendant: Slovenská inšpekcia životného prostredia

Questions referred


Does Community law (specifically Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) require or enable the supreme court of a Member State ‘ex officio’ to refer a question to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling even at a stage of proceedings where the constitutional court has annulled a judgment of the supreme court based in particular on the application of the Community framework on environmental protection and imposed the obligation to abide by the constitutional court’s legal opinions based on breaches of the procedural and substantive constitutional rights of a person involved in judicial proceedings, irrespective of the Community dimension of the case concerned, that is, where in those proceedings the constitutional court, as the court of last instance, has not concluded that there is a need to refer a question to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling and has provisionally excluded the application of the right to an acceptable environment and the protection thereof in the case concerned?


Is it possible to fulfil the basic objective of integrated prevention as defined, in particular, in recitals 8, 9 and 23 in the preamble to and Articles 1 and 15 of Council Directive 96/61/EC (1) concerning integrated pollution prevention and control and, in general, in the Community framework on the environment, that is, pollution prevention and control involving the public in order to achieve a high level of environmental protection as a whole, by means of a procedure where, on commencement of an integrated prevention procedure, the public concerned is not guaranteed access to all relevant documents (Article 6 in conjunction with Article 15 of Directive 96/61/EC), especially the decision on the location of a structure (landfill site), and where, subsequently, at first instance, the missing document is submitted by the applicant on condition that it is not disclosed to other parties to the proceedings in view of the fact that it constitutes trade secrets: can it reasonably be assumed that the location decision (in particular its statement of reasons) will significantly affect the submission of suggestions, observations or other comments?


Are the objectives of Council Directive 85/337/EEC (2) on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment met, especially in terms of the Community framework on the environment, specifically the condition referred to in Article 2 that, before consent is given, certain projects will be assessed in the light of their environmental impact, if the original position of the Ministerstvo životného prostredia (Ministry of the Environment) issued in 1999 and terminating a past environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure is prolonged several years later by a simple decision without a repeat EIA procedure; in other words, can it be said that a decision under Council Directive 85/337/EEC, once issued, is valid indefinitely?


Does the requirement arising generally under Directive 96/61/EC (in particular the preamble and Articles 1 and 15a) for Member States to engage in the prevention and control of pollution by providing the public with fair, equitable and timely administrative or judicial proceedings in conjunction with Article 10a of Directive 85/337/EEC and Articles 6 and 9(2) and (4) of the Aarhus Convention apply to the possibility for the public to seek the imposition of an administrative or judicial measure which is preliminary in nature in accordance with national law (for example, an order for the judicial suspension of enforcement of an integrated decision) and allows for the temporary suspension, until a final decision in the case, of the construction of an installation for which a permit has been requested?


Is it possible, by means of a judicial decision meeting the requirement of Directive 96/61/EC or Directive 85/337/EEC or Article 9(2) and (4) of the Aarhus Convention, in the application of the public right contained therein to fair judicial protection within the meaning of Article 191(1) and (2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, concerning European Union policy on the environment, to interfere unlawfully with an operator’s right of property in an installation as guaranteed, for example, in Article 1 of the Additional Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, for example by revoking an applicant’s valid integrated permit for a new installation in judicial proceedings?

(1)  Council Directive 96/61/EC of 24 September 1996 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control (OJ 1996 L 257, p. 26).

(2)  Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (OJ 1985 L 175, p. 40).