Thursday, January 19, 2012

This Week in Luxembourg

The only Grand Chamber judgment this week involved employee rights for a person working on the Dutch continental shelf. Read it if you like. Salemink v. UWV

AG Kokott considers the problem of public service contracts and military hardware. Conclusion: “An item which, according to the contracting authority, is to be used for specifically military purposes, but which, viewed objectively, is essentially no different from similar items used in the civilian sector cannot, through reliance on Article 296(1)(b) EC in conjunction with Article 10 of Directive 2004/18, be excluded from the procurement procedures prescribed in that directive.” That makes sense… Insinööritoimisto InsTiimi

AG Bot gets involved in the issue of fees for 3rd country citizens who are long-term residents in the Netherlands. The Netherlands was already convicted by the ECtHR on this issue last week (G.R. v. the Netherlands), and AG Bot thinks the fees are also too high under Directive 2003/109. (The former case concerned their level relative to the applicant’s ability to pay, while the EU law issue focused on their level relative to comparable intra-EU fees.) Commission v. Netherlands (NL, DE, FR)

AG Trstenjak looked at some copyright law from Denmark. Apparently, the Danish copyrights organisation is annoyed with the use of copyrighted music by public broadcasters under a statutory exception to the normal rules. For this reason, it has asked the courts to rule that this exception only applies to programmes produced by the TV companies themselves, not to programmes commissioned elsewhere. However, the AG doesn’t seem to go for it. DR and TV2 Danmark v. NCB

Last Thursday, AG Mengozzi took a restrained approach to employment discrimination and Directives 2000/43 and 2006/54, by declining to support the idea of an obligation for employers to explain to the unsuccessful applicant why they hired the person that they did, and by encouraging the national court to take a look at the big picture of the application procedure. Given the facts, however, this context point will probably get the defendant in trouble. Meister v. Speech Design Carrier Systems

Before Christmas, the General Court ruled in a highly interesting case that I overlooked because it looked like just another competition case. In CDC Hydrogene Peroxide Cartel Damage Claims v. Commission, the Commission argued that it could not give the applicants access to documents because then they might sue the subject of the (successful) competition investigation. While it is easy enough to understand the Commission’s concern, of course this argument was never going to fly as a legal matter. Cf. Eutopia Law

Finally, I would like to point out that on 15 June this year, the Florence School of Regulation is organising its First Annual Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructure Industries. The deadline for submitting abstracts is March 1, 2012. Please forward the Call for Papers to anyone you think might be interested.

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