ECJ

16 Jul: Commission uses ECJ referrals to bring Member States in line.

 Editor’s Blog: Produced in collaboration with the EU Buzz team 

As the European Institutions wind down now to take their summer break there has been a flurry of activity from the European Commission which will bring added pressures to certain Member States. It is possible to sense the frustration of the European Commission with some countries in its most recent cases filed in the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In the latest “regular package of infringement decisions”, the European Commission pursues legal action against Member States for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law. These decisions, covering various …

12 May: Tax rulings granted by Luxembourg to companies in the Engie group: the General Court finds the existence of a tax advantage

(Source: ECJ)

Tax rulings granted by Luxembourg to companies in the Engie group: the General Court finds the existence of a tax advantage

It states that preferential tax treatment is predominantly the result of the non-application of a national measure relating to abuse of law

Between 2008 and 2014, the Luxembourg tax authorities adopted two sets of tax rulings (‘the contested tax rulings’) in connection with intra-group financing structures relating to the transfer of activities between companies of the Engie group resident in Luxembourg.

In broad outline, the transactions carried out under each structure are implemented in three successive stages. First, a …

12 May: The General Court, finding an inadequate statement of reasons, annuls a Commission decision refusing to register a proposed citizens’ initiative

(Source: ECJ)

The General Court, finding an inadequate statement of reasons, annuls a Commission decision refusing to register a proposed citizens’ initiative

A citizen presenting such a proposed initiative must be given the opportunity to understand the Commission’s reasoning

On 5 July 2019 Mr Tom Moerenhout and six other citizens communicated to the European (1)Commission, in accordance with the regulation on the citizens’ initiative, a proposed citizens’ initiative entitled ‘Ensuring Common Commercial Policy conformity with EU Treaties and compliance with international law’ (‘the proposed ECI’).

In accordance with the requirements laid down in that regulation, the subject matter and the …

12 May: No selective advantage in favour of a Luxembourg subsidiary of the Amazon group: the General Court annuls the Commission’s decision declaring the aid incompatible with the internal market

(Source: ECJ)

No selective advantage in favour of a Luxembourg subsidiary of the Amazon group: the General Court annuls the Commission’s decision declaring the aid incompatible with the internal market

According to the General Court, the Commission did not prove to the requisite legal standard that there was an undue reduction of the tax burden of a European subsidiary of the Amazon group

From 2006, the Amazon group pursued its commercial activities in Europe through two companies established in Luxembourg, namely Amazon Europe Holding Technologies SCS (‘LuxSCS’), a Luxembourg limited partnership, the partners of which were US entities of the Amazon group, and Amazon EU …

12 May: Advocate General Hogan: Iranian undertakings may invoke EU law blocking US secondary sanctions before the courts of the Member States

(Source :ECJ)

Advocate General Hogan: Iranian undertakings may invoke EU law blocking US secondary sanctions before the courts of the Member States

A decision by an EU undertaking to terminate a contractual relationship with an Iranian undertaking subject to US primary sanctions should be regarded as invalid if it cannot be justified on any ground other than the desire to comply with US legislation providing for secondary sanctions against non-US undertakings trading with such Iranian undertakings which falls under the EU blocking statute

The Iranian bank Bank Melli Iran, which has a branch in Hamburg (Germany), claims before the German …

12 May: Greece has failed to fulfil its obligations by failing to recover unlawful aid paid to Greek farmers as compensation for adverse weather conditions

(Source: ECJ)

Greece has failed to fulfil its obligations by failing to recover unlawful aid paid to Greek farmers as compensation for adverse weather conditions

In 2009, the Greek Agricultural Insurance Organisation (ELGA) – a public body the purpose of which is to insure agricultural holdings against damage due to natural risks – paid Greek farmers compensation totalling €425 million for damage that had occurred in 2008 as a result of adverse weather conditions.

Full Judgement…

12 May: The principle prohibiting the duplication of proceedings can preclude the arrest, within the Schengen Area and the European Union, of a person who is the subject of an Interpol notice

(Source: ECJ)

The principle prohibiting the duplication of proceedings can preclude the arrest, within the Schengen Area and the European Union, of a person who is the subject of an Interpol notice

This is the case where the competent authorities are aware of a final judicial decision, taken in a State that is a party to the Schengen Agreement or a Member State, which establishes that that principle applies

In 2012, the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) published, at the request of the United States and on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the authorities of that country, …

06 May: Advocate General Tanchev: the Court should rule that the Polish legislation concerning the disciplinary regime for judges is contrary to EU law

Source: EU Court of Justice  

In 2017, Poland adopted the new disciplinary regime for judges of the Sąd Najwyższy (Supreme Court, Poland) and the ordinary courts. Specifically, under that legislative reform, a new Chamber, the Izba Dyscyplinarna (the Disciplinary Chamber) was created within the Sąd Najwyższy. The jurisdiction of the Disciplinary Chamber thus covers, inter alia, disciplinary cases concerning judges of the Sąd Najwyższy and, on appeal, those concerning judges of the ordinary courts. (PR 47/20)

Full text…

05 May: Commission failed to fully implement conflict of interest rules for finance expert group

Source: EU Ombudsman

The Commission failed to properly apply its rules on managing conflicts of interest when putting together an expert group to give advice and policy input in relation to the EU Capital Markets Union, an Ombudsman inquiry has found.

The inquiry, based on a complaint by an MEP, examined the composition of the High Level Forum on the proposed EU Capital Markets Union, which gathered senior industry executives, international experts and scholars. The Commission took the Forum’s recommendations into account for its CMU Action Plan.

The Forum had two types of members – those appointed in their personal …

04 May: Italian DPA: Major Critical Issues for Vaccination Pass

Source: European Data Protection Board

The decree that was recently adopted by the Italian government introducing the so-called ‘green pass’, or vaccination pass, is fraught with major criticalities such as to undermine – in the absence of the required amendments – the soundness and operation of the arrangements to lift travelling bans during the pandemic. Urgent measures are accordingly required to protect rights and freedoms of natural persons. 

This is the stance taken by the Italian SA (Garante per la protezione dei dati personali) in a warning (art. 58 par2(a)) measure that was adopted in pursuance of the EU Regulation …