Summary of Costa/ENEL – 6/64

by José Ricardo Sousa, student of the Master's degree in EU Law of UMinho

Keywords: primacy; competition rules; non-discrimination; nationalisation; state aid.

Court: CJEU | DateJuly 15th 1964 | Case: 6/64 | Applicants: Faminio Costa vs Ente Nazionale Energica Elettrica

Summary: The Italian Republic nationalized the production and distribution of electric energy. In the middle of the proceedings, Mr Costa, shareholder of an energy company affected by the sector nationalization requested the application of article 177 of EEC Treaty to obtain the interpretation of articles 102, 93, 53 and 37 of the same treaty. To Mr Costa, this nationalization infringed the articles mentioned above. The Giudice Consiliatore decided to send a question to CJEU:

“Having regard to Article 177 of the Treaty of25 March 1957 establishing the EEC, incorporated into Italian law by Law No 1203 of 14 October 1957, and having regard to the allegation that Law No 1643 of6 December 1962 and the presidential decrees issued in execution of that Law (No 1670 of 15 December 1962, No 36 of 4 February 1963, No 138 of25 February 1963 and No 219 of 14 March 1963) infringe Articles 102, 93, 53 and 37 of the aforementioned Treaty, the Court hereby stays the proceedings and orders that a certified copy of the file be transmitted to the Court of Justice of the European Economic Community in Luxembourg.’”

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Summary of Simmenthal – 106/77

by José Ricardo Sousa, student of the Master's degree in EU Law of UMinho

Keywords: EU law application; national law; legal orders; uniformity; free movement of goods.

Court: CJEU | DateMarch 9th 1978 | Case: 106/77 | Applicants: Simmenthal S.p.A. vs Amministrazione Delle Finanze pello Stato

Summary: On 26th July 1973 Simmenthal imported beef for human consumption from France and they had to pay its respective fee importation for public health inspection. About this matter, it was Simmenthal’s opinion that this inspection clearly violated the fundamental principles of Common Market (in this case, free movement of goods). So, Simental brought an action to court with the intention to be repaid for the mentioned illegal (for their point of view) fee. The Court, Pretore di Suza accepted Simmenthal arguments and condemned Administrazione delle Finanze pello Stato (therefore, administrazione) to repay the company. Not satisfied with the decision, Admnistrazione appealed against the order to repay arguing with some rulings by the constitutional jurisdiction regarding the conflict between Community law and National law. The Court suspended and referred a question to CJEU:

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Solidarity with Brussels, the EU Capital

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The Official Blog of UNIO joins the sentiment expressed worldwide towards Belgium after the heinous attacks today in Brussels, the European Union administrative de facto capital. Our thoughts go out to the victims, their families and every single person – EU citizens or not – who suffers from intolerance and violence. Integration and assimilation are even more needed at these times to affirm pluralism and intercultural tolerance. As our emotions meet the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy’s ones, we must never forget nor abandon the values of our fundamental rights.

Picture credits: Untitled by Axel Darut.

The implementation of the Directive 2014/41/EU of 3rd April 2014 regarding the European Investigation Order (EIO) in criminal matters: the way forward

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by Gemma Pérez Souto, Collaborating Member of CEDU

The Directive 2014/41/EU regarding the European Investigation Order (EIO) in criminal matters was approved on 3rd April 2014[i] to avoid the current fragmented framework and set up a comprehensive system for the gathering of evidence[ii] with a cross-border dimension in the area of freedom, security and justice, based on the principle of mutual recognition but also taking into account the flexibility of the existing system of mutual legal assistance.[iii]

The European Investigation Order will replace, as from 22nd May 2017, the corresponding provisions of International Conventions, Framework Decisions or Directives applicable between the Member States bound by this Directive referred to in Article 34 EIO. One of the key aspects of the new Directive relies on this question, as this instrument will replace in the future the traditional system of mutual legal assistance[iv] concerning obtaining evidence.[v]

In accordance with Article 1 EIO, a European Investigation Order is a judicial decision which has been issued or validated by a judicial authority of a Member State[vi] to have one or several specific measure (s) carried out in another Member State to obtain evidence[vii] in accordance with this Directive.[viii] With the adoption of the EIO Directive, the European Union shows that is determined to achieve a sort of ‘European Evidence Law’[ix] flexible and effective at the same time, in order to not only obtain evidence previously in possession of the authorities of another Member State (s), but also to carry out investigative measure (s) with a view to gathering evidence.

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Summary of Francovich – 6/90

by José Ricardo Sousa, student of the Master's degree in EU Law of UMinho

Keywords: social policy; liability; directive implementation; failure to fulfil an obligation; compensation.

Court: CJEU | DateNov. 19th 1991 | Case: 6/90 | Applicants: Andrea Francovich vs Italian Republic

Summary: The Directive 80/897 goal was to assure a minimum protection for all European workers in case of bankruptcy of a company. For this purpose, it predicted specific guarantees for the payment of claims relating to debt remuneration. Italian Government didn’t implement the mentioned policy in time. Mr Francovich and Mrs Bonifaci filed in court arguing that it was the Italian Government’s obligation to implement the Directive 80/897 and so they claimed a state compensation. The national court suspended the case and referred the following questions to CJEU:

“Under the system of Community law in force, is a private individual who has been adversely affected by the failure of a Member State to implement Directive 80/897 — a failure confirmed by a judgment of the Court of Justice — entitled to require the State itself to give effect to those provisions of that directive which are sufficiently precise and unconditional, by directly invoking the Community legislation against the Member State in default so as to obtain the guarantees which that State itself should have provided and in any event to claim reparation of the loss and damage sustained in relation to provisions to which that right does not apply?”

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The scope of application of the Services Directive – in need of clarification?

by Sophie Perez Fernandes, Junior Editor

Two requests for a preliminary ruling concerning the Directive 2006/123[i] on services in the internal market were recently made to the ECJ. The joined cases concerned raise some fundamental questions relating to its scope of application.

The first case (C-340/14) concerns the application of Mr. Trijber for an authorisation for the transportation of passengers by water. Mr. Trijber wishes to use his boat, an open sloop powered by an electrical motor suitable for transporting small groups of persons, to carry passengers, in return for payment, on tours of Amsterdam by waterway for festive occasions. The second case (C-341/14) concerns the application of Mr. Harmsen for the operation of two window prostitution businesses in Amsterdam as well. Mr. Harmsen specified in his application that he would not rent out rooms to prostitutes with whom he could not communicate in English, Dutch or any other language comprehensible to him. Both applications were, for different reasons, denied by the competent national authorities.

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Summary of CILFIT – 283/81

by José Ricardo Sousa, student of the Master's degree in EU Law of UMinho

Keywords: Common Market; Court of Justice; Question; Article 177; Member States.

Court: CJEU | DateOct. 6th 1982Case: 283/81 | Applicants: Srl CILFT vs Italian Minister of Health.

Summary: Since the adoption of the Italian Law nº 30 of January’68, textile firms had paid by way of fixed health inspection levy a certain amount of wool, until the application of law nº1239 of December’70. The last mentioned law amended the levy, but textile firms had been required to pay a sum of the levy. Tribunal di Roma dismissed the plaintiffs’ appeal in October’76. They argued that Law nº 1968 was inapplicable because Regulation (EEC) nº 827/68 was adopted. Court of Appeal had also given reason to Ministry of Health. In October ’79, Ministry of Health lodged the judgement of Court of Appeal and added that wool was not included in Annex II of EEC Treaty, so it’s the states’ competence to rule on the matter, and they said that it wasn’t necessary to send any question to CJEU because the case was very clear. According to MoH’s arguments the Court of Appeal found a relevant question to send to the CJEU involving article 177 of the Treaty:

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Summary of Van Gend en Loos – Case 26/62

by José Ricardo Sousa, student of the Master's degree in EU Law of UMinho

Keywords: direct effect; tax; legal order; common market; particular

Court: CJEU | Date: Feb. 5th 1963 | Case: 26/62 | Applicants: Van Gend en Loos v. Netherlands Inland Revenue Administration

Summary: The transport company Van Gend en Loos imported a certain quantity of urea-methanal, which belonged to a specific category in the tariff of import duties list (implies 10% tax). After that, the transport company introduced an objection against the application of this duty, with the argument that the urea-methanal was in another category duties (only implies 3% tax) when the EEC treaty entered in force in 1958. Therefore, the Dutch Government infringed the 12 article of EEC Treaty, which provides Member States to change or introduced any new customs duties.

Thus, the Inspector of Customs and Excise at Zaandam dismissed the objection of Van Gend because it was “not directed against the actual application of the tariff but against the rate”. Furthermore, Nederlandes administratie der belastingen stated that when the EEC Treaty entered into force, this product was incorporated in another category, which had the same tax (10%) as the new category, so it wasn’t raised any rate. The national court suspended the proceedings and referred two questions to the CJEU about this matter:

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