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Judgement in the Tyrol case

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The Commission welcomes today's ruling of the European Court of Justice in the second Brenner driving ban case (Case C-28/09). The judgment confirms the Commission's view and states that the sectoral driving ban as it was conceived by the Tyrolean authorities is neither a suitable nor a proportionate means to achieve the aims of a better air quality, as the Tyrolean authorities should have more seriously taken into account less restrictive measures such as permanent speed controls. This also confirms the Commission's opinion that the aims set in the air quality Directive should be ensured by a comprehensive set of adequate and proportionate measures rather than by unbalanced unilateral actions.

This long awaited court decision now provides for more legal clarity on the measures national authorities may take to preserve environmental values such as air quality without infringing the free movement of goods guaranteed in the Treaty provisions. The Commission will ensure that the Austrian authorities take all necessary measures to implement the ruling without delay.

At the same time it has to be stressed that the Commission fully supports the aim to improve air quality in the Inn Valley. The Commission will do its utmost to cooperate with the Austrian authorities in order to identify necessary solutions for improving air quality. Moreover, the European Commission is strongly supporting the construction of the Brenner base tunnel which would provide additional capacity and make Alp crossing rail freight transport more competitive, so that more transports could shift from road to rail.

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