The Impact of the Services Directive 2006/123/EC in Portugal and Spain and its effects on the Legaltech Industry

by Pedro Petiz, Master’s student in Law and Informatics at UMinho

“Just think what Europe could be. Think of the innate strengths of our enlarged Union. Think of its untapped potential to create prosperity and offer opportunity and justice for all its citizens. Europe can be a beacon of economic, social and environmental progress to the rest of the world.”[i]

This auspicious introduction belongs to the Communication from the European Commission, “Working together for growth and jobs – A new start for the Lisbon Strategy”.

To reach Europe’s “untapped potential” for prosperity, the Lisbon Strategy aimed at the completion of the Single Market in the area of the energy, transport, public procurement, financial services, and in the area of regulated professions.[ii]

The Services Directive (2006/123/EC) played an important role in this objective, since it required Member States to take concrete legislative measures to abolish the restrictions on the freedom to provide services that were found as being unnecessary and disproportionate.[iii]

This also encompassed the rules on the liberal professions, such as fixed minimum or maximum tariffs [Article 15(2)(g)], restrictions on advertising (Article 24), and – most importantly – restrictions on multidisciplinary partnerships (Article 25).

Continue reading “The Impact of the Services Directive 2006/123/EC in Portugal and Spain and its effects on the Legaltech Industry”

Indirect taxation on 3D printing – A new challenge for the European Union

IFA 2015

 by Andreia Barbosa, PhD candidate at UMINHO

3D printing (or rapid prototyping) is a form of additive manufacturing technology through which a three-dimensional model (height, depth and width, maxime, embossed) is created by successive layers of material. Think of the production of a computer mouse. The traditional production of this property implies that, in the first instance, the respective components are separately produced and subsequently assembled, giving rise to the mouse. Differently, through 3D printing the mouse for the computer will be printed as a whole, layer by layer – making the assembly process obsolete – and with the possibility of the product being customized, according to the model that has been developed.

That said, it is easy to conclude that in the case of models for 3D printing there is no corporeality to which we refer, so that, then, there will be no merchandise, which will only assume this quality when it is actually printed. That is to say, the 3D printing model, which is the subject of an international transaction, will not be regarded as a ‘good’ for customs purposes. Consequently, as customs duties constitute charges imposed on goods on the ground that they have crossed a customs line, no customs duties may be levied by the transmission of the model to be printed (which will be carried out electronically).
Continue reading “Indirect taxation on 3D printing – A new challenge for the European Union”

An overview of the treatment contract in the DCFR


by Helga Fonseca, Collaborating Member of CEDU

The Treatment contract is one of the legal instruments provided in the Draft Common Frame of Reference (DCFR)[i] which allows the parts into a medical services contract under the Art. I.V.C.-8:101 to 8:111.

This particular instrument developed in the 1980s in the legislation of the European Community – now the European Union – has the purpose to protect the parts, inter alia, the consumers in private contractual situations, above all, when one party is in a weaker position (the patient) in comparison to the medical provider (the Services Directive does not applies to the medical services)[ii].

As it says in the DCFR, the “DCFR is developed on the basis of comparative studies of community law and the laws of the Member States, it has to reflect the underlying values to be found in the existing laws, that are not the same in each system”. As far as there are differences between the underlying values in individual jurisdictions, or between the laws of the Member States and EC law, the DCFR mediates between them and takes a balanced position. Any attempt to work in principles of private law, will at least have to deal with the following core aims and the values expressed in them: Justice; Freedom; Protection of Human Rights; Economic welfare; Solidarity and Social Responsibility; Promotion of the Internal Market; Preservations of Cultural and Linguistic Plurality and so on[iii].

The DCFR is to be interpreted and applied in consistent with the aims and principles of which not only the laws of the Member States, but also the principles to which the European Union is based on. Such as the Internal Market with free and fair competitions and free movements of goods, people, services and capital, and the protection of consumers and others in need of protection.

Continue reading “An overview of the treatment contract in the DCFR”

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.

Continue reading “The scope of application of the Services Directive – in need of clarification?”