Thursday, November 18, 2010

This Week in Luxembourg

The Grand Chamber judgement of this week, Mantello, deals with ne bis in idem and the European Arrest Warrant. The Court affirms that the notion of "same acts" (cf. art. 3(2) of the Framework Decision) is an "autonomous concept of EU law". The Court also finds that there was no double jeopardy here, relying on the issuing court's reply to the information request under art. 15(2) of the Framework Decision, something the AG had avoided. Unlike AG Bot, the Court did not make an explicit link with art. 54 of the Schengen Agreement, which also deals with ne bis in idem. Gaetano Mantello.

The Fourth Chamber discussed the issue of comparative advertising (cf. Directive 84/450, as amended by Directive 97/55). While the detailed factual issues remain to be worked out by the national court, of course, on the whole the judgement is favourable to the right of market participants to compare themselves to their competitors. Lidl SNC v. Vierzon Distribution (it was Lidl who were trying to stop the advertising in question)

In Commission v. Portugal, the Court rejected a Portugese authorisation scheme for construction companies as violating art. 49 EC, because the scheme failed to take into account the requirements already imposed on a non-Portuguese company by its home authorities.

In Pensionsversicherungsanstalt v. Kleist, the Second Chamber held that a Member State may not establish different retirment ages for men and women. In a Bulgarian retirement case, Georgiev v. Tehnicheski universitet - Sofia, filial Plovdiv, the same chamber upheld the arrangements at issue against a complaint of age discrimination.

In the state aid case of NDSHT Nya Destination Stockholm Hotell & Teaterpaket AB v. Commission, the General Court had held that the case was inadmissible because there was no decision to appeal against. This decision is now overturned on appeal by the Third Chamber. Incidentally, the case concerns a complaint by a competitor, which was rejected by the Commission.

In environmental law, AG Mengozzi argued that a permit for the exploitation of an airport that does not involve any actual changes in the manner in which the airport operates does not fall within the ambit of Directive 85/337, meaning that the Region of Flanders will not have to do an environmental impact study before giving Brussels Airport a new permit. Bruxelles Region Capitale et al. v. Flanders (NL, DE, FR)

P.S. The archive of these emails is here.

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