Friday, September 28, 2012

Yesterday in Luxembourg

AG Bot has another Ruiz Zambrano Case. (I blogged about the three previous ones here.) This time, we have an applicant who lives with his legally resident 3rd national spouse and her EU-citizen child from a previous relationship. AG Bot argues that the applicant can be removed if he does not have sufficient means to support himself. In other words, again the precedent is distinguished in order to keep the rule as narrow as possible. Joined Cases O and S v. Maahanmuuttovirasto and Maahanmuuttovirasto v. L. (NL, DE, FR)

In the category nuisance litigation, we have J. v. Parliament (DE, FR), where the applicant is asking the General Court (Judge Soldevila Fragoso) to annul a decision by the European Parliament declaring his petition under art. 227 TFEU inadmissible on the grounds that it was insufficiently motivated in violation of art. 296 TFEU. This would have been a legitimate complaint, except for the fact that the decision was in fact motivated to the extent that this was possible given the vagueness of the petition. The applicant also tries to get the Court to apply the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the Austrian problem that was the subject of his petition, but no dice, of course. While this is marginally less stupid than asking the Court to review the Parliament’s decision on the merits, I still have to ask: How was this suit not manifestly inadmissible for the purposes of legal aid? (DE, FR)

Otherwise, there were a lot of cartel cases courtesy of Judge Soldevila Fragoso acting as rapporteur. A quick roundup:
  • Flat Glass cartel: Guardian Industries lost and still has to pay € 148 million.
  • Bitumen (NL) cartelShell has a partial win, with the fine being reduced from € 108 million to € 81 million. The Commission failed to prove the alleged aggravating circumstance that Shell was an instigator and leader of the cartel. Nynäs lost and keeps its € 13,5 million fine. Koninklijke Volker Wessels Stevin (NL) and its subsidiary Koninklijke Wegenbouw Stevin (NL, FR) lost and keep their € 27,36 million fine. Kuwait Petroleum lost and keeps its fine at € 16,632 million. Total (FR) and Total Nederland lost and keep their € 20,25 million fine. The Dura Vermeer Group (NL), Dura Vermeer Infra (NL) and Vermeer Infrastructuur (NL) all lost and stay at € 5,4 million. Likewise, Koninklijke BAM lost twice (NL 1, NL 2) and stays at € 13,5 million and Heijmans lost twice (NL 1, NL 2) and stays at € 17,1 million. Ballast Nedam (NL, FR) lost and keeps its € 4,65 million fine. Its subsidiary Ballast Nedam Infra (NL, FR), however, scored a partial win on the grounds that it only became incorporated into the group as of 2000, resulting in a reduction of the share for which it is jointly and severally liable to € 3,45 million. (I.e. of the total for the group of € 4,65 million.)
  • In other words, following 17 cartel judgements authored by Judge Soldevila Fragroso, only the lawyers and Shell achieved a tangible win.

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