Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Last Week in Luxembourg

Last week, the Grand Chamber (per Judge Kasel) overruled the General Court’s judgement in case T-258/04 Poland v. Commission. The General Court had treated Poland like a non-privileged applicant under art. 230 EC for the purposes of the annulment of certain parts of Commission Regulation 60/2004 (transitional measures in the sugar sector), and held that Poland had missed the 2 month deadline. The CJEU now decided that the Regulation  applied to Poland in its capacity as a Member State, meaning that it could bring an action for annulment even after April 2004. Poland v. Commission

In last week’s other Poland v. Commission, dealing with Regulation 1972/2003 as amended by Regulation 735/2004 (transitional measures to be adopted in respect of trade in agricultural products)the General Court again declared the application inadmissible (case T-257/04 Poland v. Commission), at least insofar as it concerned the former Regulation. The Grand Chamber of the CJEU (again per judge Kasel) overrules the admissibility holding but agrees with the General Court on the merits. Poland loses. Poland v. Commission

In the case concerning the insider dealing surrounding Jürgen Schrempp’s resignation at Daimler, the Court (per Judge Lõhmus) follows AG Mengozzi and gives a more expansive reading of the definition of “information” under Directive 2003/6 and Directive 2003/124. In other words, the plaintiffs will likely win their damages suit. Geltl v. Daimler

Melvin West has managed to have no fewer than three EAWs issued against him, by three different Member States. (Or, as Berlaymonster put it: “Pass the Larcenist”) Art. 28 of Framework Decision 2002/584 provides for a procedure in case of two arrest warrants, but three? According to the Court (per Judge Arabadjiev), only the last one counts for the purposes of obtaining consent under that article. Melvin West (FR)

In Access to Documents law, the CJEU (per Judge Juhasz) overruled two General Court judgements about merger control documents. Both in Commission v. Agrofert and in Commission v. Éditions Odile Jacob the GC annulled the Commission’s decision when it shouldn’t have.

The Competition Law Private Damages suite of European Communities v. Otis et al. (NL, DE, FR) is fun in at least two ways: Firstly, there are some issues about who gets to represent the EU institutions pre- and post-Lisbon (cf. my blog post from last year) and secondly the case raises some questions about the Commission’s two hats: first it adopts a decision pursuant to art. 81 EC, and then it turns around and uses that decision as the (unchallengeable) legal basis for a damages suit in Belgian court. AG Cruz Villalón thinks it is all OK, though.

Surprisingly, AG Cruz Villalón suggests that the Court should go near the question of Same Sex Marriage, which comes to it in the form of a question whether Germany is allowed to discriminate between married civil servants and civil servants who have entered into a registered partnership, given the requirement of equal treatment under Directive 2000/78. The AG suggests punting to the national court, but not on the general question of whether the Directive could potentially apply here. Joined Cases Germany v. Dittrich et al. (note that the BVerfG already fixed this problem in 2009)

According to AG Mengozzi, the General Court needs to be sent to do its homework again in the France Telecom state aids case of France v. Commission. Apparently, the General Court (per Judge Azizi) was too generous in its definition of aid. (i.e. more prudent investor tests, etc.) Bouygues Telecom v. Commission and Commission v. France (FR)

In asylum law, AG Trstenjak wrote about how to determine which Member State is responsible for considering a potential claim under the humanitarian clause of art. 15 of Regulation 343/2003. Her answer reiterates some of the things said in relation to Greece (this case concerns Poland as the suspect state), and emphasises the importance of implementing ECtHR case law. K

AG Mengozzi had an opinion about the European order for Payment Procedure of Regulation 1896/2006, and specifically the issue of the payment of interest. Iwona Szyrocka v. SiGer Technologie GmbH

The General Court, finally, did some competition law, upholding the €21 million price fixing fine against Bolloré (FR) in the market for carbonless paper and the € 12 million and € 110 million price fixing fines against Coats Holdings in the market for zippers. E.On, however, had its cartel fine (DE, FR) reduced from € 553 million to € 320 million because the Commission erred on the relevant time period (i.e. they failed to prove it).

Also, as you may have heard, the General Court (per Judge Forwood, of course), sided with the Commission and slapped a € 860 million penalty payment on Microsoft for its failure to comply with the Commission’s 2004 abuse of dominance decision. (Cf. here for all the case documents)

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