Luxembourg (dpa) - A possible coercive for Bavarian leaders on account of lack of car driving restrictions and other clean air measures busy this Tuesday (September 3), the highest EU judges.
The Bayerische Verwaltungsgerichtshof wants to know from the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg whether under EU law detention can be or should be ordered against the Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) and other Bavarian officials.
The aim of compulsory detention would be to force the government to implement a final judgment of the Administrative Court of Munich in 2012. According to a complaint by the Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), the Bavarian state government was obliged to change the clean air plan for Munich in such a way that the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels can be met "as quickly as possible".
In its request for a preliminary ruling, the Verwaltungsgerichtshof (Supreme Administrative Court) complained to the ECJ judges that the Bavarian government had not complied with this obligation despite two penalty payments - which were paid by the Free State to the Free State. A penalty payment was only the transfer of an amount from a reservation office of the state budget to another booking office. "A refusal of the enforcement debtor (the Bavarian government) is also not to be expected," it says in the request to the European Court of Justice.
At the hearing before the large chamber of the ECJ, which has 15 judges, the question arises as to whether coercive detention against political office-holders can or should be imposed on grounds of European law. According to a ruling by the ECJ in 2014, the courts of the EU states are obliged to "take all necessary measures" to ensure compliance with the European Air Pollution Prevention Directive.
The Administrative Court wants a clarification by the ECJ, because the German law in his interpretation by the Federal Constitutional Court does not provide for the imposition of coercive detention against public officials. The refusal of a government to implement a court ruling also concerns fundamental questions of the rule of law and EU law. The "failure to comply with final decisions by public authorities" was "also incompatible with the law of the European Union".
The Bavarian Administrative Court considers forfeiture not only against Prime Minister Söder and Environment Minister Thorsten Glauber (Free Voters), but also against senior officials of the Ministry and the Government of Upper Bavaria. This is necessary because members of the state government are usually protected as members of parliament by immunity, according to the reference for a preliminary ruling. Enforcement of the 2012 ruling could then continue to be impossible. In view of the importance of health, "a temporary interference with the personal freedom of movement of public officials" - which should not take more than six months - should not be regarded as "inappropriate".
According to a court spokesman, a ruling by the ECJ is expected to be heard within a few weeks.