Thursday, January 21, 2010

This Week in Luxembourg

- According to AdjudicatingEurope, the biggest case this week is Kücükdeveci. The result is that directives can have horizontal effect between private citizens. In this particular case, the problem was section 622 of the BGB, which violated Directive 2000/78, concerning equal treatment in the workplace, because it discriminated against individuals younger than 25. The ECJ now allowed ms. Kücükdeveci to claim rights deriving from the directive in her suit against her (former) employer, despite the BGB rule to the contrary.

- In Co-Frutta Soc. coop v. Commission, the General Court cleared up some procedural matters concerning access to documents under Regulation 1049/2001. For example, the Commission is still allowed to adopt a decision explicitly refusing access after an implied refusal has already become effective under art. 8(3) of the Regulation.

- Germany was condemned by the Third Chamber for its overly restrictive regulations with regard to the posting of Polish workers in Germany, under a Polish-German agreement from 1990. Commission v. Germany.

- On appeal from the CFI, the First Chamber overturned the CFI and OHIM and ruled that the Audi motto "Vorsprung durch Technik" can be registered as a trade mark. The OHIM Board of Appeal, supported by the CFI, had held that the slogan lacked distinctive character under art. 7(1)(b) of Regulation 40/94. Audi v. OHIM.

- In MG Probud Gdynia sp., there was a problem between the authorities in Poland and Germany concerning the seizure of certain assets located in Poland as part of bankruptcy proceedings in Germany. Unsurprisingly, the First Chamber emphasised the importance of mutual trust between the member states, and ruled that the German authorities should have their way, subject to the exceptions of art. 25(3) and 26 of Regulation 1346/2000, the insolvency regulation.

- The Second Chamber handed down yet another ruling concerning the rights of Turkish citizens and their children, again finding for the plaintiff. Cf. the Sahin case from September, which was also about Decision 1/80 of the Association Council. In the context of a third country immigration, cf. the pending case of Harrow, LBC v Ibrahim, where AG Mazák delivered his opinion in October, and the similar opinion by AG Kokott in Teixeira v Lambeth LBC from the same day. Bekleyen v Berlin.

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