Our point of view

Heikki Vesikansa and Stefan Stellato’s Article in Edilex

20 November 2018

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Heikki Vesikansa and Stefan Stellato

In its ruling of 4 October 2018, Commission v France (C-416/17), the ECJ found for the very first time that a Member State’s court of last instance had failed to make a preliminary reference to the ECJ pursuant to Article 267 of the TFEU. The ruling is important for two main reasons. First, it further underlines the obligation of a national court of last instance to refer a question to the ECJ, even where the ECJ has shortly before issued a ruling on almost identical circumstances. Second, the ruling demonstrates that the infringement procedure is an efficient tool for the Commission to attack non-EU law compliant national rulings, which the Commission does not hesitate to do. The matter had been brought before the ECJ by the Commission, spurred by several complaints from companies who had been denied refunds of French tax under legislation that had already been found in the Accor ruling (C-310/09) to be contrary to the TFEU freedoms.
 
The article was first published in Edilex on 19 November 2018. The article is only available in Finnish.