European Commission v. Greece

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On 3rd December of 2020 the European Commission decided to refer Greece to the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding poor air quality due to high levels of particulate matter (PM10).[1] According to the EU's ambient air quality legislation (Directive 2008/50/EC) EU Member States should respect the daily limit values for PM10 concentrations. If the limit values are exceeded, Member States are required to adopt air quality plans to ensure that appropriate measures are taken in order to keep the duration of the exceedance period as short as possible. Greece failed to fulfil its obligations to keep the exceedance period as short as possible and didn't take adequate measures for the reduction of the PM10 concentrations in the agglomeration of Thessaloniki (city in Northern Greece). Having found the efforts by the Greek authorities insufficient, the Commission decided to take action against the country.[2]


Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe

  1. Commission's Press release. PM10: Particulate matter is a mixture of solid and liquid particles suspended in the air. It is mainly present in emissions from industry, traffic and home heating, but is also produced by emissions from agriculture.
  2. ibid