Thursday, July 19, 2012

Today in Luxembourg

The final batch before the Court’s summer break:

In anti-terrorism news, the Parliament lost its bid to get a say in asset-freeze decisions. According to the Grand Chamber (per Judge Rosas), Art. 215 TFEU is an appropriate legal basis, there is no need to use art. 75 TFEU. Parliament v. Council

The Grand Chamber (per Judge Toader) also held that Regulation 44/2001 potentially applies to an employment conflict between a former staffer of the Algerian embassy in Berlin and the embassy. I say “potentially” because of course the contract frame is not appropriate for all embassy personnel, although it appears to be for this guy. Mahamdia v. Algeria

In Competition Law, the Grand Chamber upheld the General Court’s judgement in the Italian Raw Tobacco cartel case in its entirety, meaning that on the whole the litigation is only a partial win for the Commission. On a quick scan, I can’t tell why this was taken up by the Grand Chamber. Alliance One et al. v. Commission

Finally, the Grand Chamber upheld the General Court’s judgement in Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial Group v. Council, where that court annulled an anti-dumping duty. The bulk of the judgement deals with the consequences of government ownership for determining whether the applicant company qualifies for Market Economy Treatment (MET). Council v. Zhejiang Xinan Chemical Industrial Group

In Deutschland v. Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen und Verbraucherverbände – Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband eV the Court (per Judge Arestis) again put  a stop to the things booking agents and airlines can do with “optional price supplements”. Most importantly, under art. 23(1) of Regulation 1008/2008, prices have to be transparent and additional services always have to be on an opt-in basis. Cf. Recent Developments in European Consumer Law Blog

In a case about VAT exemptions for international airline operators, the Court (per Judge Prechal) held for the taxpayer. The relevant exemption also extends to charter companies like the plaintiff. A Oy

The Netherlands achieved a glorious victory in the Schengen case of Adil v. Minister voor Immigratie, Integratie en Asiel (NL, DE, FR). The random checks carried out by Dutch customs officials in a 20 km zone from the border are in compliance with the Schengen Border Code. The related case of Jaoo is still pending.

Once you cut through all the tax creativity, the gist of Veronsaajien oikeudenvalvontayksikkö v. A Oy (a different one that the previous) is that Norway gets treated more or less like an EU Member State here.

The Court (per Judge Juhász) rejected the appeal in the copper fittings cartel case. Kaimer et al. v. Commission (DE, FR)

In Pie Optiek v. Bureau Gevers et al., the Court (per Judge Lõhmus) followed AG Trstenjak in holding that the “straw-license” for the express and sole purpose of allowing the licensee to register a .eu TLD for does not suffice to establish a “prior right” in the sense of art. 12(2) of Commission Regulation 874/2004. Cf. IPKat

In Dülger v. Wetteraukreis, the Turkish worker wins again in a Decision 1/80 case.

AG Cruz Villalón tried to disentangle an Italian contract awards mess, where the city may or may not have been entitled to rely on the in-house award exception to Directive 2004/18. The AG defines “in-house” by focusing on whether the city has effective control over the contracting entity. Joined Cases Econord v. Commune di Cagno, Varese, Solbiate and (again) Varese

In the wake of the recent Dutch studiefinanciering case, AG Cruz Villalón proposes that a Belgian measure which gives allowances for young persons seeking their first job only to persons who have spent the last six years in Belgium should be considered in violation of the free movement of workers. Prete v. Office national de l’emploi

According to AG Kokott, Belgium is entitled to impose a bioethanol mandate that requires oil companies to sell at least 4% of their volume in bioethanol form. Apparently the history of this area includes the enthusiastic pro-bioethanol Directive 2003/30 and the slightly more balanced Directive 2009/28. Belgische Petroleum Unie VZW et al. v. Belgium

AG Mengozzi proposes that the Commission should get only a partial – and technical – win in its appeal against the competition law judgement in Tomkins v. Commission. The reduced fine stands. Commission v. Tomkins

No comments: