- An environmental protest group planned and executed an anti-traffic protest, blocking a major motorway in Austria
- The protest group had received permission from the Austrian authorities to go ahead with the protest
- Diversions had been put in place to assist with traffic flow during 30-hour disruption to motorway traffic
- Had Austria breached Art 34 TFEU on the free movement of goods between EU Member States by allowing, and not preventing, the protest?
- Was Schmidberger, a haulage company, entitled to damages from the Austrian state, for failing to prevent the protest?
- No, no
- Although a Member State is obliged to remove obstacles to trade between Member States, doing so in this case would have disproportionately infringed on the rights of the protestors – the breach of Art 34 was justifiable under Art 36 TFEU
- The ECJ found that the objectives of the protest group were irrelevant
- As there had been no unjustifiable breach of Art 34 TFEU, there was no basis for a state liability claim by Schmidberger for the loss caused to them by the protest