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Urban waste water: EC calls on Greece to ensure correct treatment of urban waste water

  • Urban waste water: EC calls on Greece to ensure correct treatment of urban waste water

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European Commission
The European Commission is the EU's executive arm. It takes decisions on the Union's political and strategic direction.
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The Commission is calling on Greece to comply with the requirements of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (Directive 91/271/EEC - UWWTD). The Directive requires Member States to ensure that agglomerations (towns, cities, settlements) properly collect and treat their waste waters, thus eliminating or reducing all their undesirable effects.

The European Green Deal and the recently adopted Zero Pollution Action Plan set as zero pollution ambition for the EU, which benefits public health, the environment and climate neutrality. In 2011, the Commission launched an infringement procedure against Greece for failure to fulfil its obligations to ensure that agglomerations (towns, cities, settlements) properly collect and treat their waste waters, thus eliminating or reducing all their undesirable effects. The Commission is now sending a letter of formal notice to Greece for failing to comply with the ruling of the Court of Justice of 14 September 2017 (C-320/15). 

In this ruling, the Court determined that Greece has not ensured proper collection and treatment of urban waste waters in five agglomerations. The Commission has determined that the breach remains for two agglomerations - Prosotsani and Doxato. The Commission has decided to issue today a letter of formal notice to Greece for failing to comply with the ruling of the Court. This is an infringement procedure based on Article 260 (2) TFEU, meaning that the Commission can refer the matter back to the Court and ask for financial sanctions, after giving Greece the opportunity to respond to the letter and take the necessary measures.

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