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I. Free Movement of Goods

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 January 2008

Stephen Weatherill
Jean Monnet Professor of European Law, Somerville College, Oxford.


The Surveys of the law of the free movement of goods carried in the Quarterly since 1989 have followed a largely consistent pattern. The Court's case law interpreting the nature and purpose of Article 28's legislative institutions. The readier the Court is to treat national measures as barriers to trade, the deeper the incursion of EC law into national regulatory autonomy. And vice versa. The Wider the scope allowed to the possibility to justify barriers to trade, the more room for manoeuvre is handed back to national regulatory autonomy—and the more weight is placed on the process of legislative harmonization or, increasingly, other forms of policy coordination at EC level as the way to advance integration. And vice versa. All these trends are in view in the period covered by this survey. The complex institutional rhythms reveal that the creation of the internal market was not a short-term project that was completed in 1992, nor even an enterprise that gently begged to have a few loose ends tidied up before being triumphantly pronounced historical fact. In reality the internal market, as an exercise in creating a unified economic space underpinned by a constitutionalized system of supra-State legal rules in a politically fragmented but interdependent environment, is one manifestation of the extraordinary exercise in multi-level governance which is evolving in Europe. Systems of this complexity do not stop fluctuating; ‘free’ markets are politically contested.

Current Developments: European Law
Copyright © British Institute of International and Comparative Law 2006

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1 Joined Cases C-267/91 and C-268/91 Keck and Mithouard [1993] ECR 1 6097.

2 OJ 1993 C353/6

3 See since Keck (2003) 52 ICLQ 1021, (2001) 50 ICLQ 158, (1999) 48 ICLQ 217, (1997) 46 ICLQ 704, (1996) 45 ICLQ 213, (1994) ICLQ 207.

4 See Enchelmaier, S ‘The Awkward Selling of a Good Idea, or a Traditionalist Interpretation of Keck’ (2003) 22 YEL 249;Google ScholarConnor, TAccentuating the Positive: the Selling arrangement, the first decade and beyond’ (2005) 54 ICLQ 127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

5 eg Case C-470/93 Verein gegen Unwesen in Handel und Gewerbe Köln eV v Mars GmbH [1995] ECR I-1923.

6 Joined Cases C-34/95, C-35/95 and C-36/95 Konsummentombudsmannen v De Agostini Forlag AB and TV-Shop i Sverige AB [1997] ECR I-3843; Case C-405/98 Konsumentombudsmannen v Gourmet International Products [2001] ECR I-1795.

7 Case C-7/02 [2004] ECR I-3025. For annotation, see Stuyck, J (2004) 41 CMLRev 1683.Google Scholar

8 Case C-239/02 [2004] ECR I-7007, paras 52 and 53.

9 Case C-20/03 judgment of 26 May 2005. See also Case C-416/00 Morellato [2003] ECR I-9343.

10 ibid para 31 of the judgment.

11 On the location of the burden of proof see recently Case C-14/02 ATRAL SA [2003] ECR I-4431.

12 Case 120/78 Rewe-Zentrale AG v Bundesmonopolverwaltung für Branntwein [1979] ECR 649.

13 Case C-358/01 [2003] ECR I-13145.

14 Case C-143/03 judgment of 14 Oct 2004.

15 Case C-416/00 [2003] ECR I-9343.

16 Second Biennial Report on the Application of the Principle of Mutual Recognition in the Single Market COM (2002) 419, paras 5.1, 5.2.

17 Directive 98/34 (1998) OJ L204/37. The features of this pattern of market management have been explored in more depth in previous Surveys in the Quarterly, See especially (2003) 52 ICLQ 1021, 1021–5; (2001) 50 ICLQ 158, 158–9 164–5.

18 Commission Second Implementation Report of the Internal Market Strategy 2003–6 (Jan 2005) 9. See also Commission interpretative communication of facilitating the access of products to the markets of other Member States: the practical application of mutual recognition (2003) OJ C265/2 (Nov 2003).

19 ibid 15.

20 Case C-294/00 Deutsche Paracelsus Schulen [2002] ECR I-6515.

21 Case 53/80 Eyssen [1981] ECR 4091.

22 Case C-192/01 [2003] ECR I-9693.

23 para 49 of the judgment.

24 cf eg also explicitly citing the precautionary principle: Case C-24/00 Commission v France [2004] ECR I-1277, Case C-95/01 John Greenham [2004] ECR I-1333, Case C-387/99 Commission v Germany [2004] ECR I-3751.

25 Case C-41/02 [2004] ECR 1-11375, para 52.

26 cf eg Fisher, LPrecaution, Precaution Everywhere: Developing a Common Understanding of the Precautionary Principle in the EC’ (2002) 9 MJ 7;Google ScholarBerends, G and Carreño, ISafeguards in food law—ensuring food scares are scarce’ (2005) EL Rev 386.Google Scholar

27 Case C-368/95 [1997] ECR I-3689.

28 Case C-71/02 [2004] ECR I-3025.

29 ibid para 51 of the judgment.

30 (n 7).

31 Case C-112/00 [2003] ECR I-5659.

32 Case C-265/95 Commission v France [1997] ECR I-6959, considered in previous Survey (1999) 48 ICLQ 217, 221.

33 (n31) para 51.

34 ibid paras 81 and 82.

35 ibid para 89.

36 cf concerning free movement of services Case C36/02 Omega Spielhallen [2004] ECR I-9609.

37 cf Weatherill, S ‘The Internal Market’ in Peers, and Ward, (ed) The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: Politics, Law and Policy (Hart Publishing Oxford 2004) ch 7;Google ScholarOliver, ‘Competition and Free Movement: Their Place in the Treaty’ in Tridimas, and Nebbia, (eds) European Union Law for the 21st Century—Rethinking the New Legal Order (Hart Publishing Oxford 2005) ch 10;Google ScholarCraufurd-Smith, R (ed) Culture and EU Law (OUP Oxford 2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

38 Case C-376/98 [2000] ECR I-8419; see comment in (2001) 50 ICLQ 158.

39 See in particular the textual limitations built into Art 152 EC on public health.

40 Case C-491/01 [2002] ECR I-11543; see (2003) 52 ICLQ 1021, 1027–30. see also Case C-377/98 Netherlands v Parliament and Council [2001] ECR I-7079.

41 Case C-210/03 [2004] ECR I-11893.

42 Cases C-154/04 & C-155/04 [2005] ECR I-0000.

43 (n 41) paras 26 and 30.

44 ibid para 31. Cf also Case C-491/01 (n 40) considered in this vein in the Survey referred to in that footnote.

45 ibid para 32.

46 ibid para 34.

47 (n 42) para 68 of the judgment. cf(n 26).

48 For a wonderfully illuminating comparison see the decision of the US Supreme Court in Gonzalez v Raich 545 US (2005).Google Scholarcf generally in comparative vein Nicolaidis, K and Howse, R (eds) The Federal Vision: Legitimacy and Levels of Governance in the United States and the European Union (OUP Oxford 2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

49 (n 40). See (2003) 52 ICLQ 1021, 1029–30.

50 (n 41) para 48.

51 cf Weatherill, SBetter competence monitoring’ (2005) 30 ElRev 23;Google ScholarCraig, PCompetence: clarity conferral, containment and consideration’ (2004) 29 ElRev 323.Google Scholar

52 See generally on the ‘competence debate’ at the convention S Weatherill ‘Competence creep and competence control’ (2004) 23 YEL 1.

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I. Free Movement of Goods
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