Friday, November 13, 2009

This Week in Luxembourg

- In Commission v Spain, the Third Chamber avoids the question of a possible violation of art. 234 EC by the Spanish Supreme Court. That does, however, leave the conclusion that the Supreme Court's case law is now found to have been in violation of Community Law, which is apparently a first. (Cf. Commission v Italy, case C-129/00.) French, Spanish.

- In a case where it looks distinctly as if TeliaSonera is trying to keep a competitor out of the Finnish market, the question arises whether the Access Directive 2002/19 can offer a remedy in the form of an obligation to negotiate in good faith about an interconnection agreement. The Second Chamber finds that it does, and that the Finnish legislation transposing the directive is too restrictive on the point. It also suggests that the national regulatory authorities should be able to enforce the obligation to negotiate in good faith more effectively. TeliaSonera Finland Oyj.

- In competition law, the Fourth Chamber rejected the appeal by SGL Carbon and Carbone-Lorraine against the CFI's ruling in case T-68/04, which, in turn, upheld the Commission's Decision 2004/420. In other words, they still have to pay € 23,6 million and € 43 million, respectively.

- The data protection directive 95/46 states that the MS should have "one or more" supervisory authorities, which should work in "complete independence". (art. 28(1)) The Commission is troubled by the German system, arguing that the German regulator is insufficiently independent from the executive branch. AG Mazák takes a middle road: He argues that some State supervision of the authority is acceptable, as long as the authority's ability to exercise its function independently is not jeopardised. Since the Commission failed to (dis)prove the latter, he suggests the case should be dismissed. Commission v Germany.

P.S. On October 30, the French Conseil d'État overruled its earlier case law and admitted that Directives can have direct effect in French (administrative) law. Cf. Coulisses de Bruxelles. The ruling itself is here.

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