Thursday, April 15, 2010

This Week in Luxembourg

The big case this week is of course the Grand Chamber ruling in Bressol and Others, on discrimination based on nationality quotas for university admission. In the end, the court concludes that such discrimination is only conceivable in the context of medical training, where the defendant state (in this case the French-speaking Community in Belgium) can rely on the public health justification. It is clear, though, that the national court should be reluctant to find that public health concerns require such a quota system. (Cf. EUObserver)

The Fourth Chamber has followed AG Mengozzi in ruling that, under Directive 97/7 on Distance contracts, a consumer may not be charged for delivery if they invoke their right of withdrawal. Handelsgesellschaft Heinrich Heine. The First Chamber applied a similar consumer protection directive, Directive 85/577 on contracts negotiated away from the business premises, to a closed-end real property fund, much to the benefit of the defendant consumer. Friz.

Predictably, the Hungarian "vocational training levy" which charged the company for all its employees, including workers elsewhere in the EU, did not pass muster in the Third Chamber. CIBA

In Commission v. Germany, AG Trstenjak wrote about a German practice where collective bargaining agreements between unions and government entities locked in only a few financial institutions as providers of certain pension services, without any public tender. She concludes that this fact pattern is capable of falling within the remit of Community law, despite issues of horizontal effect, the fundamental right to collective bargaining, etc., but that the Commission has failed to meet its burden of proof as to the scale neccessary for EU law to apply. Germany wins, but on a technicality. (NL, FR, DE)

AG Bot has an opinion about number portability in telecommunications law: how does a national regulator judge whether the price charged to consumers for this service is proportionate in the meaning of art. 30 of Directive 2002/22? Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa sp. zoo (NL, FR, DE)

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