Judgments issued in 2021
Press Release 163/21: Formal Sitting of the Court of Justice
Entry into office of a new member of the General Court of the European Union.
Press Release 162/21: Advocate General’s Opinion in Cases C-128/20 GSMB Invest, C-134/20 Volkswagen and C-145/20 Porsche Inter Auto and Volkswagen
According to Advocate General Rantos, the installation of software that alters the level of pollutant gas emissions of vehicles based on the outside temperature and the altitude is contrary to EU law, and such a vehicle is not in conformity with the contract of sale within the meaning of Directive 1999/44.
Such a device cannot be justified by the protection of the engine from damage or accident and safe operation of the vehicle if its principle purpose is to protect components such as the EGR valve, the EGR cooler and the diesel particulate filter.
Press Release 161/21: Judgment in Joined Cases T-639/14 RENV, T-352/15 and T-740/17 DEI v Commission
The General Court annuls the decisions by which the Commission found that an arbitration award setting an allegedly preferential tariff for electricity did not involve the granting of an advantage to the aluminium producer Mytilinaios.
The Commission was required to examine diligently, sufficiently and comprehensively, by carrying out complex economic and technical assessments, whether there had been State aid.
Press Release 160/21: Judgment in Case T-425/18 Altice Europe v Commission
The General Court dismisses Altice Europe’s action against the Commission decision imposing two fines totalling €124.5 million in connection with the acquisition of PT Portugal.
However, it orders the amount of the fine relating to the breach of the obligation to notify the concentration to the Commission be reduced by €6.22 million.
Press Release 159/21: Order of the Vice-President of the Court in Case C-121/21 R Czech Republic v Poland
Poland is ordered to pay the European Commission a daily penalty payment of €500 000 because it has not ceased lignite extraction activities at Turów mine.
Such a measure appears necessary in order to strengthen the effectiveness of the interim easures decided upon in the order of 21 May 2021 and to deter that Member State from delaying bringing its conduct into line with that order.
Press Release 158/21: Judgment in Case C-337/19 P Commission v Belgium and Magnetrol International
Tax exemptions granted by Belgium to multinational companies by way of rulings: the Commission correctly found that there was an aid scheme.
The Court of Justice sets aside the judgment delivered on 14 February 2019 by the General Court and refers the case back to the latter for it to rule on other aspects of the case.
Press Release 157/21: Judgment in Case C-341/20 Commission v Italy
Italy has infringed EU law by exempting from excise duty fuels used for private pleasure craft, chartered and used by end users for non-commercial activities.
The fact that the chartering of a vessel constitutes a commercial activity for the person making that vessel available to another does not justify the tax exemption in question.
Press Release 155/21: Judgment in Case C-18/20 Bundesamt für Fremdenwesen und Asyl
EU law precludes a subsequent application for international protection from being rejected as inadmissible on the sole ground that it is based on circumstances which already existed during the procedure relating to the first application.
In addition, the reopening of the first procedure in order to examine the substance of the subsequent application cannot be subject to the condition that that application has been lodged within a certain time.
Press Release 154/21@ Judgment in Case C-783/19 Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne
The Court specifies the conditions for the protection of products covered by a protected designation of origin as laid down by the regulation establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products.
Those designations are protected vis-à-vis prohibited conduct in respect of both products and services.
Press Release 153/21: Advocate General’s Opinions in Cases C-117/20 bpost and C-151/20 Nordzucker and Others
Advocate General Bobek proposes a unified test for the protection against double jeopardy (ne bis in idem) under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
That test should rely on a threefold identity: of the offender; of the relevant facts; and of the protected legal interest.
Press Release 152/21: Judgment in Case C-180/20 Commission v Council
The Court of Justice annuls the decisions of the Council on the application of the Partnership Agreement with Armenia.
It holds that, although the Partnership Agreement has some links with the CFSP, the components or declarations of intention that it includes which may be linked to the CFSP are insufficient to constitute an autonomous component of that agreement capable of splitting the Council measure into two decisions.
Press Release 151/21: Judgment in Case C-928/19 P EPSU v Commission
Appeal by EPSU: the Commission is not bound to give effect to the social partners’ request seeking implementation, at EU level, of the agreement that they have concluded.
The Court of Justice upholds the judgment o fthe General Court and points out that the Commission enjoys a discretion when deciding whether it is appropriate to submit to the Council a proposal seeking such implementation pursuant to Article 155(2) TFEU.
Press Release 150/21: Judgment in Case C-570/19
The Court of Justice clarifies a number of provisions of the regulation concerning passengers’ rights when travelling by sea and inland waterway.
The re-routing and compensation obligations in the event of cancellation of a service are proportionate to the objective pursued by the regulation.
Press Release 149/21: Judgments in Cases C-647/19 P and 665/19 P Ja zum Nürburgring and NeXovation v Commission
The Commission must re-examine whether the sale of the Nürburgring in 2014 entailed a grant of State aid.
In the same year, it wrongly ruled out the presence of doubts as to the possible existence of an advantage conferred on the buyer and decided not to open a formal investigation procedure.
Press Release 148/21: Judgment in Case C-350/20 O.D. and Others v Istituto nazionale della previdenza sociale (INPS)
Third-country nationals who hold a single work permit obtained pursuant to the Italian legislation transposing an EU directive are entitled to a childbirth allowance and a maternity allowance as provided for by the Italian legislation.
Press Release 147/21: Judgment in Case C-930/19 Belgian State (Right of residence in the event of domestic violence)
According to the Court of Justice, a third-country national who has been the victim of acts of domestic violence committed by his or her spouse, who is a Union citizen, is not in a comparable situation to a third-country national who has been the victim of acts of domestic violence committed by his or her spouse, who is also a third-country national.
Accordingly, any difference in treatment arising from those two situations is not in breach of equality before the law as enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Press Release 146/21 Judgment in Case C-169/20 Commission v Portugal (Vehicle tax)
The rules for calculating the registration tax on second-hand vehicles imported into Portugal infringe the principle of the free movement of goods.
National legislation does not ensure that imported second-hand vehicles are subject to a tax the amount of which is equal to that of the tax charged on similar second-hand vehicles already present on the Portuguese market.
Press Release 145/21 Judgments in Cases C-854/19, C-5/20 and C-34/20 Vodafone and Telekom Deutschland
‘Zero tariff’ options are contrary to the regulation on open internet access.
It follows that limitations on bandwidth, tethering or on use when roaming, on account of the activation of such an option, are also incompatible with EU law.
Press Release 144/21 Judgment in Case C-932/19 OTP Jelzálogbank and Others
Hungarian legislation which prohibits the annulment of a loan agreement denominated in a foreign currency on the ground that it contains an unfair term relating to the exchange difference appears to be compatible with EU law.
This is the case if that legislation makes it possible to re-establish the legal and factual situation which would have existed for the consumer in the absence of the unfair term, even if the annulment of the agreement would be more advantageous for the consumer.
Press Release 143/21: Judgment of the General Court in Case T-517/19 Homoki v Commission
The General Court annuls OLAF’s decision not to grant partial access to the final report of its investigation relating to street-lighting projects implemented by the company Elios in Hungary with financial participation from the EU.
Since the Hungarian authorities have already closed the national investigations relating to that report, the protection of investigations no longer justifies the refusal to grant access to the document requested.
Press Release 140/21: Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-261/20 Thelen Technopark Berlin
In Advocate General Maciej Szpunar’s view, a national court hearing a dispute between individuals concerning a claim based on a national provision which fixes minimum tariffs for service providers in a manner that is contrary to the Services Directive must disapply such a national provision.
That obligation results from the specific nature of the provisions of the Services Directive as provisions giving specific expression to the freedom of establishment enshrined in the Treaty and
from the need to respect the fundamental right to freedom of contract guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Press Release 138/21: Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-401/19 Poland v Parliament and Council
According to Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe, Article 17 of Directive 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market 1 is compatible with the freedom of expression and information guaranteed in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
While Article 17 entails an interference with freedom of expression, that interference satisfies the conditions laid down in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Press Release 137/21: Judgment in Case C-30/20 Volvo and Others
Cartel on the sale prices of trucks: the Court of Justice clarifies the courts with jurisdiction over actions for damages.
In the absence, at the national level, of a specialised court for that type of action, an undertaking which made its purchases in several places may bring an action before the court within whose
jurisdiction its registered office is situated.
Press Release 136/21: Judgment in Case C-535/19 A (Public health care)
The Court confirms the right of economically inactive Union citizens residing in a Member State other than their Member State of origin to be affiliated to the public sickness insurance system of the host Member State.
EU law does not, however, impose the requirement of affiliation to that system free of charge.
Press Release 135/21: Judgment in Case C-584/20 P and C-621/20 P Commission v Landesbank Baden-Württemberg and Single Resolution Board
Annulment of the decision of the Single Resolution Board on the calculation of ex ante contributions to the Single Resolution Fund for 2017 as far as it concerns Landesbank Baden-Württemberg on the ground that the statement of reasons was inadequate.
While coming, in that regard, to the same conclusion as the General Court, the Court of Justice sets aside the judgment of the General Court because it infringed the principle of audi alteram
partem and erred in interpreting the scope of the obligation to state reasons.
Stqarrija għall-Istampa 134/21: Sentenza fil-Kawża C-795/19 Tartu Vangla
Il-leġiżlazzjoni Estonjana li tipprevedi impossibbiltà assoluta li jinżamm filfunzjonijiet tiegħu uffiċjal tal-ħabs li l-akutezza tas-smigħ tiegħu ma tissodisfax livelli ta’ perċezzjoni tal-ħoss minimi mingħajr ma tippermetti li jiġi vverifikat jekk huwiex f’pożizzjoni li jaqdi l-funzjonijiet tiegħu tmur kontra d-dritt tal-Unjoni.
Din il-leġiżlazzjoni tistabbilixxi diskriminazzjoni direttament ibbażata fuq id-diżabbiltà.
Press Release 133/21: Judgment in Case C-709/20 The Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
The UK legislation on Universal Credit, which deprives of that benefit Union citizens who have a right to reside on the basis of the scheme established in the context of Brexit but who do not satisfy all of the conditions of Directive 2004/38, is compatible with the principle of equal treatment guaranteed by EU law.
However, the competent national authorities must check that a refusal to grant such social assistance does not expose the Union citizen and his or her children to a risk of infringement of their rights enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular the respect for human dignity.
Stqarrija għall-Istampa 131/21: Sentenza fil-Kawża C-742/19 Ministrstvo vs obrambo
Il-Qorti tal-Ġustizzja tippreċiża l-każijiet li fihom id-direttiva li tikkonċerna ċerti aspetti tal-organizzazzjoni tal-ħin tax-xogħol ma tapplikax għall-attivitajiet eżerċitati minn suldati.
Din id-direttiva ma tipprekludix li perijodu on-call li matulu suldat huwa obbligat jibqa’ fil-kwartieri fejn jiġi assenjat iżda ma jwettaqx xogħol effettiv jiġi rremunerat b’mod differenti minn perijodu oncall li matulu huwa jwettaq xogħol effettiv.
Press Release 130/21: Judgment in Case C-791/19 Commission v Poland
The disciplinary regime for judges in Poland is not compatible with EU law.
Stqarrija għall-Istampa 129/21: Sentenza fil-Kawża C-848/19 P Il-Ġermanja vs Il-Polonja
Il-legalità ta’ kull att tal-istituzzjonijiet tal-Unjoni li jaqa’ taħt il-politika tagħha filqasam tal-enerġija għandha tiġi evalwata fid-dawl tal-prinċipju ta’ solidarjetà enerġetika.
Il-Qorti tal-Ġustizzja tiċħad l-appell ippreżentat mill-Ġermanja kontra s-sentenza tal-Qorti Ġenerali li kienet, b’applikazzjoni ta’ dan il-prinċipju, annullat deċiżjoni tal-Kummissjoni tal-2016 li permezz tagħha l-kundizzjonijiet ta’ aċċess għall-pipeline tal-gass OPAL kienu ġew emendati.
Stqarrija għall-Istampa 128/21: Sentenza fil-Kawżi Magħquda C-804/18 u C-341/19 WABE u MH Müller Handel
Il-projbizzjoni ta’ lbies ta’ kwalunkwe forma viżibbli ta’ espressjoni tat-twemmin politiku, filosofiku jew reliġjuż fuq il-post tax-xogħol tista’ tiġi ġġustifikata millħtieġa tal-persuna li timpjega li tippreżenta ruħha b’mod newtrali fil-konfront talklijenti tagħha jew sabiex tevita kunflitti soċjali.
Madankollu, din il-ġustifikazzjoni għandha tissodisfa ħtieġa reali tal-persuna li timpjega u, fil-kuntest tal-konċiljazzjoni tad-drittijiet u interessi inkwistjoni, il-qrati nazzjonali jistgħu jieħdu
inkunsiderazzjoni l-kuntest rispettiv tal-Istat Membru tagħhom u b’mod partikolari d-dispożizzjonijiet nazzjonali iktar favorevoli f’dak li jirrigwarda l-protezzjoni tal-libertà ta’ reliġjon.
Press Release 126/21: Judgment in Case T-488/20 Guerlain v EUIPO
EU trade mark: the three-dimensional mark in the shape of a Guerlain lipstick may be registered.
The General Court annuls the decision of EUIPO which dismissed Guerlain’s initial application.
Stqarrija għall-Istampa 125/21: Sentenza fil-Kawża T-677/20 Ryanair u Laudamotion vs Il-Kummissjoni (Austrian Airlines – Covid-19)
Il-Qorti Ġenerali tikkonferma li l-għajnuna mogħtija mill-Awstrija lil Austrian Airlines sabiex tikkumpensaha għad-danni li jirriżultaw mill-kanċellazzjoni u mill-iskedar mill-ġdid tat-titjiriet tagħha minħabba l-pandemija tal-Covid-19 hija kompatibbli mas-suq intern.
Din l-għajnuna, peress li tnaqqset mis-sussidji mogħtija, f’dan l-istess kuntest, mill-Ġermanja lill-grupp Lufthansa, li minnu tagħmel parti ukoll Austrian Airlines, ma tikkostitwixxix kumpens żejjed favur dan il-grupp.
Press Release 124/21: Judgment in Case T-648/19 Nike European Operations Netherlands and Converse Netherlands v Commission
Tax rulings issued to Nike and Converse by the Netherlands tax administration: the General Court dismisses the action brought against the Commission’s decision to initiate the formal investigation procedure.
The Commission complied with the procedural rules, and neither failed to fulfil its obligation to state reasons nor made manifest errors of assessment.
Press Release 123/21: Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-132/20 Getin Noble Bank
Advocate General Bobek: the circumstances referred by the Polish Supreme Court are not such as to cast doubts on the independence and impartiality of potentially all Polish judges appointed before 2018.
Press Release 122/21: Judgment in Case C-178/20 Pharma Expressz
A medicinal product not subject to medical prescription in one Member State may not be placed on the market in another Member State unless that Member State, too, has granted its marketing authorisation.
In the absence of such an authorisation, it may nevertheless be possible to supply that medicinal product where its use meets, in accordance with EU law, special medical needs.
Press Release 121/21: Judgment in Case C-830/19 Région Wallonne (Support for young farmers)
European rural development policy: the determining criterion for enabling a young farmer to access business start-up aid is the standard gross output of the entire agricultural holding, and not simply his or her share in that holding.
National legislation which lays down different conditions of access to start-up aid, depending on whether the young farmer sets up with other young farmers or with other farmers not belonging to that category, does not amount to discrimination.
Press Release 120/21: Judgment in Case T-668/19 Ardagh Metal Beverage Holdings v EUIPO
The Court gives a ruling for the first time on the registration of a sound mark submitted in audio format.
An audio file containing the sound made by the opening of a drinks can, followed by silence and a fizzing sound, cannot be registered as a trade mark in respect of various drinks and for metal
containers for storage or transport, in so far as it is not distinctive.
Press Release 119/21: Formal sitting of the Court of Justice
Entry into office of a new member of the General Court of the European Union
Press Release 118/21: Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-638/19 P Commission v European Food and Others
According to Advocate General Szpunar, the General Court erred in law in concluding that the Commission was not competent to examine, in the light of the law on State aid, compensation paid by Romania following an arbitral award.
Arbitration proceedings initiated on the basis of a bilateral investment treaty concluded between a Member State and a third State before the accession to the European Union of that third State, party to the arbitration, are not capable of adversely affecting the autonomy of EU law.
Press Release No 117/21: Judgment in Case C-521/19 Tribunal Económico Administrativo Regional de Galicia
In the determination of the taxable amount of a transaction concealed by taxable persons for VAT purposes, the amounts paid and received as reconstituted by the tax authority must be regarded as already including that tax.
Any other interpretation would be contrary to the principle of VAT neutrality.
Press Release 116/21: Judgment in Case T-635/19 Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pesaro and Others v Commission
The resolution of Banca delle Marche by the Italian authorities was in essence determined by that bank’s failure.
The Commission cannot be held responsible for having prevented its rescue.
Press Release 115/21: Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-709/20 The Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
Advocate General Richard de la Tour: The grant without conditions as to resources of a right of residence by a Member State to Union citizens cannot have the effect of systematically excluding them from social assistance granted to nationals of that State without constituting discrimination based on nationality.
The refusal of those benefits, in so far as it is systematic and based on the nature of the legal right of residence, even though it is justified by concern for the protection of the financial equilibrium of the financial assistance system, goes beyond what is necessary to achieve that objective.
Press Release 114/12: Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-110/20 Regione Puglia
Advocate General Hogan: a Member State is not obliged to limit the extent of the areas in which one specific operator is entitled to carry out prospection, exploration and production of hydrocarbons, such as petroleum and natural gas.
However, Member States must ensure non-discriminatory access to such activities for all operators, public or private, regardless of their nationality, and may impose conditions and
requirements on the exercise of such activities in order to protect the environment.
Press Release 113/12: (FR) Arrêt dans l’affaire C-559/19 Commission/Espagne (Détérioration de l’espace naturel de Doñana)
L’Espagne aurait dû prendre en compte le captage d’eau illégal et le captage d’eau destiné à l’approvisionnement urbain lors de l’estimation du captage des eaux souterraines de la région de Doñana.
Elle n’a de surcroît pas pris les mesures appropriées pour éviter les perturbations des types d’habitats protégés situés dans ce parc naturel occasionnées par ce captage.
Press Release 112/12: Judgment in Case C-872/19 P Venezuela v Council
Venezuela has standing to bring proceedings against a regulation which introduces restrictive measures against it.
The Court of Justice sets aside the judgment of the General Court which had held the contrary and refers the case back to the General Court for judgment on the merits of the action for annulment.
Press Release 111/21: Judgment in Case C-719/19 Staatssecretaris van Justitie en Veiligheid
A Union citizen who has been the subject of an expulsion decision cannot enjoy a new right of residence in the territory of the host Member State until he or she has genuinely and effectively terminated his or her residence there.
Such an expulsion decision cannot be deemed to have been complied with in full merely because that Union citizen has physically left that territory within the period prescribed in that decision for his or her voluntary departure.
Press Release 110/21: Judgment in Case C-718/19 Ordre des barreaux francophones et germanophone and Others
Measures to enforce a decision to expel a Union citizen and family members on grounds of public policy or public security constitute restrictions on the right to movement and residence, which may be justified if they are based exclusively on the personal conduct of the individual concerned and comply with the principle of proportionality.
In view of the systems of cooperation available to the Member States, the maximum detention period of eight months provided for by Belgian law does, however, go beyond what is necessary to establish an effective removal policy.
Press Release 109/21: Judgment in Case C-439/19 Latvijas Republikas Saeima (Penalty points)
EU data protection law precludes Latvian legislation which obliges the road safety authority to make the data relating to the penalty points imposed on drivers for road traffic offences accessible to the public.
It has not been established that that system is necessary in order to achieve the objective pursued, namely improving road safety.
Press Release 108/21: Judgment in Joined Cases C-682/18 YouTube, C-683/18 Cyando
As currently stands, operators of online platforms do not, in principle, themselves make a communication to the public of copyright-protected content illegally posted online by users of those platforms.
However, those operators do make such a communication in breach of copyright where they contribute, beyond merely making those platforms available, to giving access to such content to the public.
Press Release 107/21: Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-203/20 AB and Others
Advocate General Kokott: European arrest warrant for the abduction of the son of a former Slovak President to be issued after revocation of an amnesty.
Press Release 106/21: Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-55/20 Ministerstwo Sprawiedliwości
Advocate General Bobek: the Services Directive applies to disciplinary proceedings initiated against lawyers, the result of which may affect the ongoing ability of those lawyers to provide legal services.
A national court must, if necessary, disregard the national legislation on the attribution of jurisdiction as well as the rulings of a higher court if it considers that they are incompatible with EU
law, in particular with the principle of judicial independence.
Press Release 105/21: Judgment in Case C-597/19 M.I.C.M.
The systematic registration of IP addresses of users and the communication of their names and postal addresses to the holder of intellectual property rights or to a third party in order to enable an action for damages to be brought is permissible under certain conditions.
The request for information from a holder of intellectual property rights is not to be abusive and must be justified and proportionate.
Press Release 104/21: Orders of the Court in Cases C-684/20 P Sharpston v Council and Conference of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States and C-685/20 P Sharpston v Council and Conference of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States
The Court of Justice confirms the dismissal of two actions for annulment brought by Ms Eleanor Sharpston, seeking a finding that the premature end of her mandate as Advocate General by virtue of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was unlawful.
The General Court did not err in holding that acts adopted by the representatives of the governments of the Member States are not subject to judicial review by the EU Courts.
Press Release 103/21: Judgment in Case C-645/19 Facebook Ireland and Others
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): the Court specifies the conditions for the exercise of the national supervisory authorities’ powers with respect to the cross-border processing of data.
Under certain conditions, a national supervisory authority may exercise its power to bring any alleged infringement of the GDPR before a court of a Member State, even though that authority is not the lead supervisory authority with regard to that processing.
Press Release 102/21: Advocate General’s Opinion in Joined Cases C-177/19 P, C-178/19 P and
Germany and Hungary v Ville de Paris, Ville de Bruxelles, Ayuntamiento de Madrid and Commission
Commission v Ville de Paris, Ville de Bruxelles and Ayuntamiento de Madrid
Advocate General Bobek: the Court should dismiss the appeals against the General Court’s judgment annulling the excessive oxides of nitrogen emission limits the Commission set for real driving tests in the wake of the ‘dieselgate’ scandal.
The Commission unlawfully altered the existing emission limits adopted by the Parliament and the Council.
Press Release 101/21: Judgment in Case C-901/19 Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Notion of ‘serious and individual threat’)
When considering an application for subsidiary protection, the competent authorities of the Member States must examine all the relevant circumstances which characterise the situation of the country of origin of the applicant in order to determine the intensity of an armed conflict.
The systematic application by the competent authorities of the Member States of a single quantitative criterion such as a minimum threshold of civilian casualties may exclude persons genuinely in need of protection.
Press Release 100/21: Judgment in Case C-609/19 and in Joint Cases C-776/19 to C-782/19 BNP Paribas Personal Finance
A consumer who has taken out a loan denominated in a foreign currency and who does not know that a term in the loan agreement is unfair cannot be subject to any limitation period for the repayment of sums paid on the basis of that term.
The information provided by the lender to the consumer concerning the existence of a foreign exchange risk does not satisfy the requirement of transparency if it is based on the assumption that the exchange rate between the account currency and the payment currency will remain stable throughout the term of the agreement.
Press Release 99/21: Judgment in Case C-65/20 KRONE – Verlag
An article in a printed newspaper that provides inaccurate health advice relating to he use of a plant which, when followed, has proved injurious to the health of a reader, does not constitute a defective product within the meaning of EU law.
Such an article cannot therefore render the publisher or printer of that newspaper liable without fault under the directive on liability for defective products.
Press Release 98/21: Judgment in Case T-665/20 Ryanair DAC v Commission (Condor – Covid-19)
The General Court annuls the Commission decision approving the State aid granted by Germany to the airline Condor Flugdienst on the ground of an inadequate statement of reasons.
However, because of the economic and social context marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, it suspends the effects of the annulment pending the adoption of a new decision by the Commission.
Press Release 97/21: Judgment in Case T-47/19 Dansk Erhverv v Commission
The General Court annuls the Commission decision finding that the non-charging of a deposit on certain drinks packaging sold by German border shops to customers resident in Denmark does not constitute State aid.
The Commission was not in a position to overcome, at the preliminary stage, all the serious difficulties encountered in determining whether the non-charging of the deposit constitutes State aid.
Press Release 96/21: Judgments in Cases T-302/19 and T-303/19 Yanukovych v Council
The General Court annuls the Council’s 2019 acts extending the fund-freezing measures imposed on Viktor Yanukovych, former President of Ukraine, and his son, Oleksandr Yanukovych.
The Council failed to demonstrate that the rights of the defence and the right to effective judicial protection were respected in the criminal proceedings underlying that extension which are being conducted against those individuals by the Ukrainian authorities.
Press Release 95/21: Judgment in Case C-624/19 Tesco Stores
The principle, laid down by EU law, of equal pay for male and female workers can be relied upon directly, in respect both of ‘equal work’ and of ‘work of equal value’, in proceedings between individuals.
Press Release 94/21: Judgment in Case C-635/18 Commission v Germany
Between 2010 and 2016, Germany systematically and persistently exceeded the limit values for nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
It also infringed its obligation to adopt appropriate measures in good time to ensure that the exceedance period is kept as short as possible in the 26 zones concerned.
Press Release 93/21: Judgment in Case C-650/18 Hungary v Parliament
The Court dismisses Hungary’s action against the Parliament resolution triggering the procedure for determining the existence of a clear risk of a serious breach, by a Member State, of the values on which the European Union is founded.
When calculating the votes cast when that resolution was adopted, the Parliament was right to exclude the taking into account of abstentions.
Press Release 92/21: Judgment in Case C-784/19 ‘TEAM POWER EUROPE’ EOOD v Direktor na Teritorialna direktsia na Natsionalna agentsia za prihodite – Varna
In order for it to be considered that it ‘normally carries out its activities’ in a Member State, a temporary-work agency must carry out a significant part of its activities of assigning temporary agency workers for the benefit of user undertakings established and carrying out their activities in the territory of the same Member State.
The performance of the activities of selecting and recruiting temporary agency workers in the Member State in which the temporary-work agency is established is insufficient for it to be considered that that undertaking ‘substantial activities’ there.
Press Release 90/21: Order of the President of the General Court in Case T-54/21R OHB v Commission
The President of the General Court dismisses the application to suspend the operation of the decisions of the European Space Agency, acting in the name and on behalf of the European Commission, providing for the exclusion of the German company OHB System from the public contract for the ‘Procurement of Galileo transition satellites’.
The weighing up of the interests at stake leans towards not granting the suspension sought.
Press Release 89/21: Order of the Vice-President of the Court in Case C-121/21 R Czech Republic v Poland
Poland must immediately cease lignite extraction activities in the Turów mine.
The pleas of fact and law raised by the Czech Republic justify the granting of the interim measures sought.
Press Release 88/21: Advocate General’s Opinion in Joined Cases C-748/19 to C-754/19 Prokuratura Rejonowa w Mińsku Mazowieckim/WB and others
Advocate General Bobek: EU law precludes the Polish practice of secondment of judges to higher courts that may be terminated at any moment at the discretion of the Minister of Justice, who is simultaneously the General Prosecutor.
Press Release 87/21: Judgment in Case C-8/20 L.R. v Bundesrepublik Deutschland
An application for international protection may not be rejected as inadmissible on the ground that a previous application for asylum made by the same person was rejected by Norway.
Even though that third State participates in part in the Common European Asylum System, it cannot be treated in the same way as a Member State.
Press Release 86/21: Judgment in Case C-913/19 CNP spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością v Gefion Insurance A/S
Cross border litigation between a business to which a road traffic accident victim’s claim against an insurance undertaking was transferred and that undertaking: The Court of Justice clarifies the rules regarding jurisdiction.
Press Release 85/21: Judgment in Case T-465/20 Ryanair DAC v Commission (TAP;COVID-19)
The Commission’s decision declaring aid granted by Portugal to the airline TAP to be compatible with the internal market is annulled because of an inadequate statement of reasons.
However, the effects of the annulment (including recovery of the aid) are suspended pending a new decision.
Press Release 84/21: Judgment in Case T-643/20 Ryanair DAC v Commission
The General Court annuls the Commission’s decision to approve the Netherlands financial aid for the airline KLM amid the COVID-19 pandemic on the grounds of inadequate reasoning.
However, due to the particularly damaging impact of the pandemic on the Netherlands economy, the General Court suspends the effects of the annulment pending the adoption of a new decision by the Commission.
Press Release 83/21: Judgment in Case T-628/20 Ryanair DAC v Commission (Spain – Covid-19)
The solvency support fund for strategic Spanish undertakings experiencing temporary difficulties due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is compatible with EU law.
The measure at issue, intended for the adoption of recapitalisation measures with a budget of €10 billion, constitutes a State aid scheme but is proportionate and non-discriminatory.
Press Release 82/21: Judgment in Joined Cases C-83/19 Asociaţia ‘Forumul Judecătorilor Din România’ v Inspecţia Judiciară, C-127/19 Asociaţia ‘Forumul Judecătorilor Din România’ and Asociaţia ‘Mişcarea Pentru Apărarea Statutului Procurorilor’ v Consiliul Superior al Magistraturii and C-195/19 PJ v QK and in Cases C-291/19 SO v TP and Others, C-355/19 Asociaţia ‘Forumul Judecătorilor din România’, Asociaţia ‘Mişcarea Pentru Apărarea Statutului Procurorilor’ and OL v Parchetul de pe lângă Înalta Curte de Casaţie şi Justiţie – Procurorul General al României and C-397/19 AX v Statul Român – Ministerul Finanţelor Publice
The Court of Justice rules on a series of Romanian reforms in the areas of judicial organisation, the disciplinary regime applicable to judges, and the financial liability of the State and the personal liability of judges as a result of judicial error.
Press Release 81/21: Judgment in Case T-789/19 Tom Moerenhout and Others v Commission
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.
Press Release 80/21: Judgment in Cases T-516/18 Luxembourg v Commission and T-525/18 Engie, Engie Global LNG Holding Sàrl and Engie Invest International SA v Commission
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.
Press Release 79/21: Judgments in Cases T-816/17 Luxembourg v Commission and T-318/18 Amazon EU Sàrl and Amazon.com, Inc. v Commission
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.
Press Release 78/21: Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-124/20 Bank Melli Iran, Aktiengesellschaft nach iranischem Recht v Telekom Deutschland GmbH
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.
Press Release 77/21: Judgment in Case C-11/20 Commission v Greece (Aid to farmers)
Greece has failed to fulfil its obligations by failing to recover unlawful aid paid to Greek farmers as compensation for adverse weather conditions.
Press Release 76/21: Judgment in Case C-505/19 WS v Bundesrepublik Deutschland
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.
Press Release 75/21: Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-791/19 Commission/Poland (Disciplinary regime for judges
Advocate General Tanchev: the Court should rule that the Polish legislation concerning the disciplinary regime for judges is contrary to EU law).
Press Release 74/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-783/19 Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne v GB
Advocate General Pitruzzella: PDO products are protected against all forms of commercial parasitism.
That phenomenon occurs when an evocative element (for example, a name) relating to certain products or services triggers directly in the mind of the average consumer the image of a product covered by a PDO.
Press Release 73/21 Judgment in Case C-665/20 PPU X
The Court of Justice clarifies the scope of the principle ne bis in idem applicable when executing a European arrest warrant in respect of acts which were previously the subject of a sentence in a third State.
Press Release 72/21 Judgment in Case C-504/19 Banco de Portugal , Novo Banco SA and Fondo de Resolución v VR
The unconditional recognition of a reorganisation measure regarding a credit institution, having retroactive effect, is contrary to EU law if it means that the client can no longer pursue legal proceedings on the merits against the ‘bridge bank’ to which the liabilities in question were previously transferred.
Press Release 71/21 Judgment in Case C-383/19 Powiat Ostrowski v Ubezpieczeniowy Fundusz Gwarancyjny
The conclusion of a contract of insurance against civil liability in respect of motor vehicles is compulsory where the vehicle concerned is registered in a Member State and has not been officially withdrawn from use.
Such an obligation cannot be excluded merely because a registered vehicle is not, at a given time, capable of being driven on account of its technical state.
Press Release 70/21 Judgment in Cases C-47/20, F. v Stadt Karlsruhe and C-56/20, AR v Stadt Pforzheim
A Member State may refuse to recognise a driving licence that was merely renewed in a Member State after its holder had been prohibited from driving in its territory.
However, it may not affix to the licence any endorsement indicating a prohibition from driving on its
territory, that alteration falling within the exclusive competence of the Member State of the holder’s
Press Release 69/21 Judgment in Case C-815/19 Natumi GmbH v Land Nordrhein-Westfalen
EU law prohibits the addition of the alga Lithothamnium calcareum in the processing of organic foodstuffs such as rice- and soya-based organic drinks for the purpose of their enrichment with calcium.
Press Release 68/21 Judgment in Case C-826/19 WZ v Austrian Airlines AG
The mere diversion of a flight to a close-by airport does not grant a right to flat-rate compensation.
However, the air carrier must, on its own initiative, offer the passenger to bear the cost of transfer either to the destination airport for which the booking was made or, where appropriate, to another close-by destination agreed with the passenger.
Press Release 67/21 Judgment in Case T-44/20 Chanel SAS v EUIPO
The General Court dismisses the action brought by Chanel against the registration of a Huawei mark on the ground that the figurative marks at issue are not similar.
The marks must be compared as applied for and registered, without altering their orientation.
Press Release 66/21 Judgment in Case C-896/19 Repubblika v Il-Prim Ministru
National provisions of a Member State which confer on the Prime Minister a decisive power in the appointment of members of the judiciary, while providing for the involvement of an independent body responsible for assessing candidates and providing an opinion, are not contrary to EU law.
Press Release 65/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-561/19 Consorzio Italian Management and Catania Multiservizi SpA / Rete Ferroviaria Italiana SpA
Advocate General Bobek: the Court should revisit its case-law (the CILFIT criteria) on the duty of national courts of last instance to request a preliminary ruling.
The Court should deem that the existence of this duty depends on three cumulative conditions: (i) a general issue of interpretation of EU law; (ii) to which there is objectively more than one reasonably possible interpretation; (iii) for which the answer cannot be inferred from the existing case-law of the Court.
Press Release 64/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-911/19 Fédération bancaire française (FBF) v Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR)
Advocate General Bobek: The Court should declare the European Banking Authority Guidelines on Product Oversight and Governance Arrangements for Retail Banking Products invalid.
The preliminary reference procedure may be used in order to review the validity of soft law EU acts.
Press Release 63/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-882/19 Sumal, S.L. v Mercedes Benz Trucks España S.L.
According to Advocate General Pitruzzella, a national court can order a subsidiary company to pay compensation for the harm caused by the anticompetitive conduct of its parent company in a case where the Commission has imposed a fine solely on that parent company.
For that to be the case, the two companies must have operated on the market as a single undertaking and the subsidiary must have contributed to the achievement of the objective and the materialisation of the effects of that conduct.
Press Release 62/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-490/20 V.M.A. v Stolichna obshtina, rayon ‘Pancharevo’
With regard to the recognition in the European Union of the parentage of a child of a married same-sex couple, Advocate General Kokott recommends that a balance be struck between the national identity of the Member States and the right to freedom of movement of the child and of his or her parents.
More specifically, a Member State must recognise the parentage of a child for the purposes of the exercise of the rights conferred by EU law on European Union citizens. It may, by contrast, rely on its national identity and its concept of a traditional family in order to refuse to recognise that parental relationship for the purpose of drawing up a birth certificate in accordance with its national law.
Press Release 61/21 Advocate General’s Opinions in Cases C-487/19 W.Ż. (Chamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs of the Supreme Court – Appointment) and C-508/19 Prokurator Generalny (Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court – Appointment)
Advocate General Tanchev: two newly-created chambers of the Polish Supreme Court are liable to fail the requirements established by EU law in a situation where the judges concerned were appointed to those positions in flagrant breach of the national laws applicable to judicial appointments to that court.
The national court must therefore assess the manifest and deliberate character of that breach as
well as the gravity of the breach.
Press Release 60/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-564/19 IS
According to Advocate General Pikamäe, on the basis of the primacy of EU law, a national judge must disapply any national legislation or judicial practice which undermines its power to refer questions to the Court of Justice.
Hungarian legislation enabling the public prosecutor to bring an action before the Supreme Court (Kúria) for a declaration of unlawfulness of an order for reference made by a lower criminal court and the decision of the Supreme Court establishing that unlawfulness, which undermine that power, are incompatible with EU law.
Press Release 59/21 Judgment in Case C-733/19 Netherlands v Council and Parliament
The Court of Justice dismisses the action brought by the Netherlands against the ban on fishing by vessels using electric pulse trawls.
The EU legislature has a wide discretion in this field and is not obliged to base its legislative choice on scientific and technical opinions only.
Press Release 58/21 Judgment in Case C-511/19 AB v Olympiako Athlitiko Kentro Athinon – Spyros Louis
Public-sector workers placed, in certain circumstances, under the labour reserve system: the Greek legislation is not contrary to EU law.
The difference in treatment on grounds of age established by that system pursues a legitimate labour-policy objective and the means of achieving that objective are appropriate and necessary.
Press Release 57/21 Judgment in Case C-846/19 EQ v Administration de l’Enregistrement, des Domaines et de la TVA
The activity of protecting adults lacking legal capacity carried out by a lawyer constitutes, as a rule, an economic activity.
That activity may be exempted from VAT if the supply of services concerned is closely linked to welfare and social security work, and if that lawyer benefits, for the business he or she operates for that purpose, from recognition as a body devoted to social wellbeing.
Press Release 56/21 Judgment in Case C-515/19 Eutelsat SA v Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des postes and Inmarsat Ventures SE
Internet connection service on board aircraft: a mobile satellite system which is principally based, in terms of capacity of transmitted data, on complementary ground components which are installed so as to cover the entire territory of the European Union is not necessarily incompatible with the European legislative framework.
The increased use of ground components is possible provided that there is no distortion of competition and the satellite component of the system has real and specific usefulness.
Press Release 55/21 Judgment in Case C-194/19 H. A. v État belge
An applicant for asylum must be able to plead circumstances subsequent to the adoption of a transfer decision in respect of which he or she exercises a remedy.
It is for each Member State to lay down procedural rules for legal actions that would safeguard that
effective judicial protection.
Press Release 54/21 Judgment in Case C-30/19 Diskrimineringsombudsmannen v Braathens Regional Aviation AB
EU law precludes a national law that prevents a court hearing an action for compensation based on an allegation of discrimination from making a finding on the existence of that discrimination where the defendant agrees to pay the
compensation claimed without recognising that discrimination.
The payment of the monetary amount alone is not capable of ensuring effective judicial protection for a person who seeks to obtain a ruling that he or she has been the victim of such discrimination.
Press Release 53/21 Judgment in Case T-388/20 Ryanair DAC v Commission
Finland’s guarantee in favour of the airline Finnair to help it obtain a loan of €600 million from a pension fund to cover its working capital requirements following the Covid-19 pandemic is compatible with EU law.
The guarantee was necessary in order to remedy the serious disturbance in the Finnish economy in view of the importance of Finnair for that economy.
Press Release 52/21 Judgments in Cases T-378/20 Ryanair DAC v Commission and T-379/20 Ryanair DAC v Commission
Aid measures introduced by Sweden and Denmark for SAS for damage resulting from the cancellation or rescheduling of flights in the wake of travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic comply with EU law.
Given that SAS’s market share is much higher than that of its closest competitor in those two Member States, the aid does not amount to unlawful discrimination.
Press Release 51/21 Judgment in Case C-565/19 P Armando Carvalho and Others v Parliament and Council
The Court of Justice confirms that the action brought by families from the European Union, Kenya and Fiji against the EU ‘climate package’ of 2018 is inadmissible.
The General Court was fully entitled to find that the appellants are not individually concerned by that legislative package.
Press Release 50/21 Judgment in Cases C-152/19 P Deutsche Telekom AG v Commission and C-165/19 P Slovak Telekom a.s. v Commission
The Court of Justice dismisses the appeals lodged by Slovak Telekom and Deutsche Telekom against the judgments of the General Court relating to anticompetitive practices on the Slovak telecommunications market.
The fine of € 38 061 963, for which those two companies were found jointly and severally liable, and the fine of € 19 030 981, for which only Deutsche Telekom was found liable, therefore remain unchanged.
Press Release 49/21 Judgment in Cases C-586/16 P Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and Ranbaxy (UK) v Commission, C-588/16 P Generics (UK) v Commission, C-591/16 P Lundbeck v Commission, C-601/16 P Arrow Group and Arrow Generics v Commission, C-611/16 P Xellia Pharmaceuticals and Alpharma v Commission, and C614/16 P Merck v Commission
The Court of Justice dismisses the appeals of a number of manufacturers of medicines involved in a cartel seeking to delay the marketing of the generic antidepressant citalopram.
The European Commission had imposed on them fines of almost € 150 million.
Press Release 48/21 Judgment in Case T-515/19 Lego A/S v EUIPO and Delta Sport Handelskontor GmbH
EUIPO erroneously declared invalid a design of a brick of a LEGO toy building set.
EUIPO failed to examine the relevance of the application of the exception relied on by Lego and failed to take into consideration all the features of appearance of the brick.
Press Release 47/21 Judgment in Case C-771/19 NAMA Symvouloi Michanikoi kai Meletites AE – LDK Symvouloi Michanikoi A.E. and Others v Archi Exetasis Prodikastikon Prosfigon (AEPP) and Attiko Metro A.E.
EU law precludes a national practice by which a candidate excluded from a public procurement procedure may rely, in that candidate’s appeal against the decision to admit the bid of another tenderer, only on the infringement of the principle of equality in the assessment of bids.
The dismissal of the pre-litigation administrative appeal against the decision to exclude a candidate does not affect that candidate’s interest in bringing proceedings, provided that that dismissal by an independent national review authority does not have the authority of res judicata.
Press Release 46/21 Judgment in Case C-603/20 PPU SS v MCP
The jurisdiction of the court of a Member State that is seised of an action relating to parental responsibility cannot be based on Article 10 of the Brussels II bis Regulation in a case of abduction of a child to a third State.
Where a finding is made that the child now has his or her habitual residence in a third State, the jurisdiction of the court will have to be determined in accordance with the applicable international conventions or, in their absence, in accordance with Article 14 of the Brussels II bis Regulation.
Press Release 45/21 Judgment in Joined Cases C-870/19 and C-871/19 Prefettura Ufficio territoriale del governo di Firenze v MI and TB
Lorry, motor coach and bus drivers who, during an inspection, do not produce the record sheets for the tachograph relating to the current day and the previous 28 days are subject to a single penalty, irrespective of the number of missing record sheets.
The principle that offences and penalties must be defined by law, in accordance with which citizens must be in a position to ascertain what conduct will make them criminally liable and the penalties which that conduct attracts, applies to this field.
Press Release 44/21 Judgment in Case C-28/20 Airhelp Ltd v Scandinavian Airline System SAS
A strike organised by a trade union of the staff of an air carrier that is intended in particular to secure pay increases does not fall within the concept of an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ capable of releasing the airline from its obligation to pay compensation for cancellation or long delay in respect of the flights concerned.
That is so even if the strike is organised in compliance with the conditions laid down by national
Press Release 43/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-848/19 P Germany v Poland
According to Advocate General Campos Sánchez-Bordona, the principle of energy solidarity can be used to review the lawfulness of acts of the EU institutions in energy-related matters.
The appeal brought by Germany against the judgment of the General Court which annulled the 2016 Commission Decision amending the conditions for access to the OPAL pipeline must therefore be dismissed.
Press Release 42/21 Judgment in Case C-64/20 UH v An tAire Talmhaíochta Bia agus Mara, Éire and An tArd-Aighne
A Member State court is required to exercise the power conferred on it by national law to make a declaration that that Member State has failed correctly to transpose a directive and is required to take remedial steps in that regard.
That court cannot disregard the obligation imposed on that Member State to transpose a directive on the ground that that transposition is purportedly disproportionate as a result of forthcoming changes in the requirements arising from EU law.
Press Release 41/21 Judgment in Case C-585/19 Academia de Studii Economice din Bucureşti/Organismul Intermediar pentru Programul Operaţional Capital Uman v Ministerul Educaţiei Naţionale
Where a worker has concluded more than one employment contract with the same employer, the minimum daily rest period applies to the contracts taken as a whole and not to each of the contracts taken separately.
Press Release 40/21 Judgment in Case C-900/19 One Voice and Ligue pour la protection des oiseaux v Ministre de la Transition écologique et solidaire
A Member State may not authorise a method of capture of birds leading to by-catch where that by-catch is likely to cause harm other than negligible harm to the species concerned.
The fact that a method of capture of birds, such as the method of hunting using limes, is traditional is not, in itself, sufficient to establish that another satisfactory solution cannot be used instead.
Press Release 39/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C 28/20 Airhelp Ltd v Scandinavian Airlines System SAS
According to Advocate General Pikamäe, a strike organised by pilots’ trade unions constitutes, in principle, an extraordinary circumstance that may release the air carrier from its obligation to pay compensation for the cancellation or long delay of the flights concerned.
However, in order to be released from that obligation, the air carrier must prove that it took all reasonable measures to avoid such cancellation or delay.
Press Release 38/21 Judgments in Cases C 562/19 P Commission v Poland and C 596/19 P Commission v Hungary
The Polish tax on the retail sector and the Hungarian tax on advertisements do not infringe EU law on State aid.
The Court of Justice accordingly dismisses the Commission’s appeals and upholds the judgments
of the General Court.
Press Release 37/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Avis 1/19 Istanbul Convention
Advocate General Hogan proposes that the Court hold that although the EU has signed the Istanbul Convention, the Council is entitled to wait, without however being forced to do so, for the common agreement of all Member States to be bound by that convention before deciding whether and to what extent the EU will accede to it.
He further suggests that the Istanbul Convention may be concluded on the bases of Articles 78(2), 82(2), 84 and 336 TFEU by means of two separate decisions.
Press Release 36/21 Judgment in Case C-392/19 VG Bild-Kunst v Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Where the copyright holder has adopted or imposed measures to restrict framing, the embedding of a work in a website page of a third party, by means of that technique, constitutes making available that work to a new public.
That communication to the public must, consequently, be authorised by the copyright holder.
Press Release 35/21 Judgments in Cases C-344/19, D.J. v Radiotelevizija Slovenija, and C-580/19, RJ v Stadt Offenbach am Main
A period of stand-by time according to a stand-by system is not, in its entirety, working time unless the constraints imposed on the worker very significantly affect his or her ability to manage, during that period, his or her free time.
The organisational difficulties that a period of stand-by time may entail for the worker and which are the result of natural factors or the free choice of that worker are not relevant.
Press Release 34/21 Judicial Statistics 2020
Despite the unprecedented constraints linked to the pandemic situation, the Court of Justice of the European Union maintained a high level of activity in 2020.
Press Release 32/21 Judgment in Case C-362/19 P Commission v Futbol Club Barcelona
The Court of Justice sets aside the judgment of the General Court by which the Commission’s decision classifying as State aid the tax scheme of four Spanish professional football clubs had been annulled.
The action which had been brought by Futbol Club Barcelona against that decision is definitively rejected.
Press Release 31/21 Judgment in Case C-824/18 A.B. and Others (Appointment of judges to the Supreme Court – Actions)
Successive amendments to the Polish Law on the national Council of the Judiciary which have the effect of removing effective judicial review of the at council’s decisions proposing to the President of the Republic candidates for the office of judge at the Supreme Court are liable to infringe EU law.
Where an infringement has been proved the principle of the primacy of EU law requires the national court to disapply such amendments.
Press Release 30/21 Judgment in Case C-425/19 P Commission v Italy, Fondo interbancario di tutela dei depositi, Banca d’Italia et Banca Popolare di Bari SCpA
The Court of Justice dismisses the appeal brought by the Commission against the judgment of the General Court concerniing the measures adopted by a consortium of Italian banks to support one of its members.
The General Court rightly found that those measures do not constitute State aid because they are not imputable to the Italian State.
Press Release 29/21 Judgment in Case C-746/18 H.K. v Prokuratuur
Access, for purposes in the criminal field, to a set of traffic or location data in respect of electronic communications, allowing precise conclusions to be drawn concerning a person’s private life, is permitted only in order to combat serious crime or prevent serious threats to public security.
In addition, EU law precludes national legislation that confers upon the public prosecutor’s office the power to authorise access of a public authority to such data for the purpose of conducting a criminal investigation.
Press release 28/21 Formal sitting of the Court of Justice
Entry into office of a new Member of the General Court of the European Union.
Press release 27/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-821/19 Commission v Hungary (Criminalisation of assistance for asylum seekers)
According to Advocate General Rantos, by imposing criminal penalties on organising activities intended to enable persons to initiate the international protection procedure who do not fulfil the national criteria for the grant of that protection, Hungary has failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law.
The criminalisation of those activities impinges on the exercise of the rights guaranteed by the EU legislature concerning assistance for applicants for international protection.
Press release 26/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-458/19 P ClientEarth v Commission
In the opinion of Advocate General Juliane Kokott, the Commission’s decision refusing to review the authorisation of the plasticiser DEHP (bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) should be annulled.
The Commission should not have disregarded the endocrine-disrupting risks posed by DEHP.
Press release 25/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Joined Cases C-804/18 IX v WABE e.V and C-341/19 MH Mueller Handels GmbH v MJ
According to Advocate General Rantos, an employer can authorise, as part of a policy of neutrality, the wearing by its employees of small-scale religious signs.
Press release 24/21 Judgment in Case C-940/19 Les chirurgiens-dentistes de France and Others v Ministre des Solidarites et de la Sante and Others
Member States may authorise partial access to one of the professions covered by the mechanism for the automatic recognition of professional qualifications, which include certain healthcare professions.
A distinction must be drawn between the ‘professionals’ benefiting from automatic recognition and the ‘professions’ for which partial access may be introduced.
Press release 23/21 Judgment in Case C-615/19 P Dalli v Commission
The Court confirms the dismissal of the action brought by the former European Commissioner John Dalli.
Mr Dalli brought an action for damages for the harm allegedly caused by the termination of his office.
Press release 22/21 Judgment in Case C-658/19 Commission v Spain
On account of its ongoing failure to transpose a directive and to notify transposition measures, Spain is ordered to pay a lump sum of €15 million and a daily penalty of €89,000.
The directive in question is the Directive on the protection of personal data for the purposes of the prevention and detection of criminal offences.
Press release 21/21 Judgment in Case C-857/19 Slovak Telekom a.s. v Protimonopolny urad Slovenskej republiky
Slovak Telekom, found liable by the Commission for abuse of a dominant position on the market for certain telecommunications services, could also be subject to sanctions imposed by the Slovak authorities for such abuse on the market for other telecommunications services.
Where the Commission initiates proceedings examining infringements which are identical to those for which proceedings have been brought by the national authorities, those authorities lose their competence in that matter.
Press release 20/21 Judgment in Case C-129/20 XI v Caisse pour l’avenir des enfants
A Member State cannot make entitlement to parental leave subject to the requirement that the parent was employed at the time of the birth or adoption of the child.
The Member State can, however, require that the parent was employed without interruption for a period of at least 12 months before the start of that parental leave.
Press release 18/21 Opinion in case C-603/20 PPU MCP
According to Advocate General Rantos, the courts of a Member State have jurisdiction in a parental dispute in the case where a child, who was habitually resident in that Member State, is wrongfully removed to a non-Member State where he or she acquires habitual residence.
The courts of the Member States retain this jurisdiction for an unlimited period of time.
Press release 17/21 Judgment in Case T-259/20 Ryanair DAC v Commission
The deferral of the payment of taxes introduced by France to support airlines which hold a French licence amid the Covid-19 pandemic is consistent with EU law.
That aid scheme is appropriate for making good the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and does not constitute discrimination.
Press release 16/21 Judgment in Case T-238/20 Ryanair DAC v Commission
The loan guarantee scheme put in place by Sweden to support airlines holding a Swedish operating licence amid the Covid-19 pandemic and intended to remedy the serious disturbance to the economy of that Member State is compatible with EU law.
The scheme at issue is presumed to have been adopted in the interest of the European Union.
Press release 15/21 Judgment in Joined Cases C-407/19, Katoen Natie Bulk Terminals NV and General Services Antwerp NV v Belgische Staat and C-471/19, Middlegate Europe NV v Ministerraad
Legislation which reserves dock work to recognised workers may be compatible with EU law if it is aimed at ensuring safety in port areas and preventing workplace accidents.
However, the intervention of a joint administrative committee in the recognition of dockers is neither necessary nor appropriate for attaining the objective pursued.
Press release 14/21 Judgment in Joined Cases C-155/19 and C-156/19: Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) and Consorzio Ge.Se.Av. S.c.arl v De Vellis Servizi Globali Srl
A national sports federation, such as the Italian Football Federation, may be subject to the rules on the award of public contracts if it pursues activities of general interest not having an industrial or commercial character.
However, such a federation having legal personality must also be subject to supervision by a public authority, such as the Italian national Olympic Committee, in the sense that the latter must be able to influence the federation’s decisions with regard to public contracts.
Press release 13/21 1 Judgment in Case C-555/19: Fussl Modestrasse Mayr GmbH v SevenOne Media GmbH and Others
The prohibition on broadcasting advertising only at regional level within the framework of German television programmes broadcast at national level could be contrary to European union law.
Firstly, that total prohibition may go beyond what is necessary to preserve the pluralistic nature of the supply of television programmes by reserving revenue from regional television advertising for regional and local channels and, secondly, it may create an unacceptable inequality between national television broadcasters and providers of advertising services on the Internet.
Press release 12/21 Judgment in Case C-637/18: Commission v Hungary (Exceedance of the limit values for PM)
Hungary has infringed the rules of EU law on ambient air quality.
It failed to fulfil its obligations to ensure throughout its territory, first, that the daily limit value for particulate matter PM10 was complied with and second, that the period of exceedance of that value was kept as short as possible.
Press release 11/21 Judgment in Case C-481/19: DB v Commissione Nazionale per le Societa e la Borsa (Consob)
Natural persons who are subject to an administrative investigation for insider dealing have the right to remain silent when their answers might establish their liability for an offence that is punishable by administrative sanctions of a criminal nature, or their criminal liability.
However, the right to silence cannot justify every failure to cooperate with the competent authorities, such as refusing to appear at a hearing or using delaying tactics.
Press release 10/21 Judgment in Case T-9/19: ClientEarth v EIB
Curtis project in Spain: The EIB must accept ClientEarth’s request for an internal review.
The General Court annuls the EIB decision that declared inadmissible the request for review of the resolution of the EIB’s Board of Directors.
Press release 09/21 Judgment in Case C-16/19: VL v Szpital Klliniczny im. dra J. Babinskiego Samodzielny Publiczny Zaklad Opieki Zdrowotnej w Krakowie
The practice adopted by an employer and consisting in the payment of an allowance only to workers with disabilities who have submitted disability certificates after a date chosen by that employer may constitute direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of disability.
Press release 08/21 Judgment in Joined Cases C-422/19 and C-423/19: Johannes Dietrich and Norbert Haering v Hessischer Rundfunk
A euro area Member State can oblige its administration to accept payments in cash, but can also limit that payment option on public interest grounds.
Such a limitation may in particular be justified where payment in cash is likely to involve the administration in unreasonable expense because of the very high number of persons liable to pay.
Press release 07/21 Judgment in Case T-328/17 RENV: Foundation for the Protection of the Traditional Cheese of Cyprus named Halloumi v EUIPO- M.J. Dairies (BBQLOUMI)
The General Court confirms that there is no likelihood of confusion between the collective mark HALLOUMI, reserved for the members of a Cypriot association, and the sign ‘BBQLOUMI’ which serves to designate the products of a Bulgarian company.
Press release 06/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-872/19 P: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela v Council of the European Union
Advocate General Hogan: a third State may have legal standing in an action for annulment of restrictive measures adopted by the Council against that State.
The General Court erred in law in so far as it held that the action was inadmissible for want of standing on the part of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Press release 05/21 Judgment in Case C-441/19: TQ v Staatssecretaris van Justitie en Veiligheid
Before issuing a return decision in respect of an unaccompanied minor, a Member State must verify that adequate reception facilities are available for the minor in the State of return.
Moreover, if adequate reception facilities are no longer guaranteed at the stage of removal, the
Member State will not be able to enforce the return decision.
Press release 04/21 Judgment in Case C-393/19 Okrazhna prokuratura – Haskovo and Apelativna prokuratura: Plovdiv v OM
A national rule permitting the confiscation of an instrumentality that was used to commit an aggravated smuggling offence but belongs to a third party acting in good faith is contrary to EU law.
Furthermore, the owner of the confiscated property must have an effective remedy against that measure.
Press release 03/21 Judgment in Case C-63/19 Commission v Italy
The reduction on the price of fuel for residents of the Regione autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia does not, in itself, constitute an infringement of the Energy Taxation Directive.
The Commission has not established that Italy has introduced a reduction in excise duty in the form of a refund of the amount of the tax.
Press release 02/21 Judgment in Case C-414/20: PPU MM
A European arrest warrant must be regarded as being invalid when it is not based on a national arrest warrant or any other enforceable judicial decision having the same effect.
It is for the court having jurisdiction in the issuing Member State to determine, in the l ight of national law, what consequences the absence of a valid national arrest warrant may have on the decision to place and then keep a person in provisional detention who is the subject of a criminal prosecution.
Press release 01/21 Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-645/19: Facebook Ireland Limited, Facebook INC, Facebook Belgium BVBA v Gegevensbeschermingsautoriteit
Advocate General Bobek: the data protection authority in the State where a data controller or processor has its main EU establishment has a general competence to start court proceedings for GDPR infringements in relation to cross-border data processing.
The other national data protection authorities concerned are nevertheless entitled to commence such proceedings in their respective Member State in situations where the GDPR specifically allows them to do so.