Case Note: Disproportionate and Discriminating Environmental Protection

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Case C-320/03 Commission v Austria was an enforcement action whereby the Republic of Austria was found to have failed to fulfil its obligations under European Community law to permit the free movement of goods. Austrian authorities in the Tyrol had introduced a regulation which limited transport in the Inn valley in response to recorded rises in levels of pollutants, most notably nitrogen dioxides (NOx), with a view to improving air quality so as to ensure the protection of human, animal and plant health. The Court of Justice concluded that the Tyrolean measure breached Articles 28 and 29 EC in an action brought by the Commission seeking to enforce Community law on the free movement of goods and the freedom to provide transport services.

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