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2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 303/13

Pleas in law and main arguments 1995, which, in its view, is not in compliance with the
applicable legislation inasmuch as it became possible to
make payments to recipients who in 1996 would have
Infringement of Article 24 of Regulation No 4253/88, in not been entitled to such additional payments. The
particular of the procedure laid down therein so far as concerns Kingdom of Spain does not share that view. The need to
the request that the Member State concerned submit its supplement payments before 15 October 1996 prompted
comments within a specified period of time prior to the the Kingdom of Spain to make use of the derogation
adoption of by the Commission of a decision to reduce, provided for by Article 5 of Regulation No 1357/96, to
suspend or cancel assistance. When applying that provision, which end, appropriate objective criteria were laid down
the Court of First Instance not only failed to be faithful to its in the aforementioned Ministerial Order. Thus, when
letter and spirit, which is based on the close cooperation granting the additional assistance provided for in Regu-
between Commission and Member State in the management lation No 1357/96, the Kingdom of Spain resorted to
and assessment of assistance granted, it also completely the derogation provided for in Article 5, so that the
ignored Community case-law which has considered para- requirements set down in Articles 1 and 2 did not apply.
mount the views of Member States in similar circumstances. In particular, that exonerated it from the obligation of
carrying out the adjustments provided for in Article 1(3).
That means that, contrary to the arguments of the
Commission, there are no grounds for recovery of
amounts paid to beneficiaries in 1996, given that Article 5
provides that application of that article precludes that of
Articles 1 to 4.

— Failure of the Commission to observe the time limits

Action brought on 6 September 2001 by Kingdom of regarding notification prescribed by the applicable Com-
Spain against Commission of the European Communities munity provisions: The expenditure which is the subject
of the financial adjustment contested in the present action
(Case C-331/01) was incurred by the Kingdom of Spain prior to the
24 months provided for by Article 7(4) of Council
Regulation 1258/99 (5) which preceded the communi-
(2001/C 303/21) cation in writing by the Commission to the Member State
concerned of the results of such inquiries.

An action against the Commission of the European Communi-

(1) OJ 2001 L 200, p. 28.
ties was brought before the Court of Justice of the European
(2) at issue is an adjustment amounting to ESP 185 046 088 referring
Communities on 6 September 2001 by the Kingdom of Spain, to additional payments to beef producers as a result of the bovine
represented by Mónica López-Monı́s Gallego, Abogado del spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis.
Estado, acting as Agent, with an address for service in (3) Council Regulation (EC) No 1357/96 of 8 July 1996 providing
Luxembourg. for additional payments to be made in 1996 with the premiums
referred to in Regulation (EEC) No 805/68 on the common
organization of the market in beef and veal and amending that
The applicant claims that the Court should: Regulation. OJ L 175, 13.7.1996, p. 9.
(4) BOE (Boletin del Estado) 228 of 20 September 1996 of the
Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación.
— annul the decision of the Commission of 11 July 2001 (1) (5) Council Regulation (EC) No 1258/1999 of 17 May 1999 on the
excluding from Community financing certain expenditure financing of the common agricultural policy (OJ 1999 L 160,
incurred by the Member States under the Guarantee p. 103).
Section of the European Agricultural Guidance and
Guarantee Fund (EAGGF) so far as concerns the financial
adjustments imposed on the Kingdom of Spain and
challenged in the present application (2);

— order the defendant institution to pay the costs.

Action brought on 7 September 2001 by the Commission
of the European Communities against the Council of the
European Union
Pleas in law and main arguments
(Case C-338/01)

— Compliance with applicable Community legislation on (2001/C 303/22)

the granting of additional assistance: In the Commissions
view, additional BSE payments in the Kingdom of Spain
in 1996 under Council Regulation No 1357/96 (3), made An action against the Council of the European Union was
in accordance with the Ministerial Order of 19 September brought before the Court of Justice of the European Communi-
1996 (4), were based on the applications submitted in ties on 7 September 2001 by the Commission of the European
C 303/14 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 27.10.2001

Communities, represented by Richard Lyal, acting as agent, The applicant claims that the Court should:
with an address for service in Luxembourg.

— Declare that, by refusing access to the Spanish market to

The Applicant claims that the Court should: products lawfully manufactured and commercialised in
other Member States under the name of ‘limpiador con
(1) declare that Council Directive 2001/44/EC of 15 June lejı́a’ (cleaning product containing bleach) or similar, with
2001 (1) amending Directive 76/308/EEC on mutual an active chlorine content of less than 35 grams per litre,
assistance for the recovery of claims resulting from the Kingdom of Spain has failed to fulfil its obligations
operations forming part of the system of financing the under Article 28 of the EC Treaty; and
European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund,
and of agricultural levies and customs duties and in
respect of value added tax and certain excise duties is — Order the Kingdom of Spain to pay the costs.

(2) maintain the effects of the directive until the entry into
force of a directive adopted on the correct legal basic;

(3) order the Council of the European Union to pay the costs. Pleas in law and main arguments

Pleas in law and main arguments The provisions of law in force in Spain, as interpreted and
applied by the Spanish authorities, contain restrictions which
apply without distinction to domestic products and imported
The Council adopted Directive 2001/44/EC on the basis of products, with regard to the naming and labelling of the
Articles 93 and 94 EC, rather than on the basis of Article 99 product in question [‘limpiador con lejı́a’ (cleaning product
EC, as proposed by the Commission, deeming the measure to containing bleach)]. Although the objective of consumer
concern fiscal provisions. protection may justify national measures which hinder intra-
Community trade, such measures must be necessary and
proportionate to the achievement of that objective.
The Commission considers that the object of the legislation in
question is the completion of the internal market and that it
does not constitute a set of measures harmonising tax pro-
visions. The correct legal base is, therefore, Article 95 EC. The Commission rejects the argument put forward by the
Spanish authorities that it is essential for the protection of
Spanish consumers because, in the view of those authorities,
The Commission accordingly submits that the directive has
the word ‘bleach’ is indissociable from a product with the
been adopted on an incorrect legal basis and should be
disinfecting power associated with that level of active chlorine.
First, it is not possible, and thus disproportionate, to require
that an end product (bleach cleaners) composed of various
(1) OJ L 175, 28.6.2001, p. 17. ingredients (including bleach) should present the same disinfec-
tant characteristics as a single one of those ingredients (bleach).
Secondly, the Commission considers that consumer protection
may be achieved by means other than by allowing only certain
marketing names, such as by the affixing of appropriate
labelling. Moreover, the Commission would draw attention to
Council Directive 88/379/EEC (1) of 7 June 1988 on the
approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative
Action brought on 19 September 2001 by the Com- provisions of the Member States relating to the classification,
mission of the European Communities against the packaging and labelling of dangerous preparations and Com-
Kingdom of Spain mission Recommendation 89/542/EEC (2) of 13 September
1989 for the labelling of detergents and cleaning products.
(Case C-358/01) The application of the aforementioned provisions allows the
consumer to be informed about the composition of the
(2001/C 303/23) product which he is about to purchase.

An action against the Kingdom of Spain was brought before

the Court of Justice of the European Communities on 19 Sep- (1) OJ L 187, 16.7.1988, p. 14.
tember 2001 by the Commission of the European Communi- (2) OJ L 291, 10.10.1989, p. 55.
ties, represented by Gregorio Valero Jordana, of the Com-
missions Legal Service, acting as Agent, with an address for
service at the office of Luis Escobar Guerrero, also of the Legal
Service, Wagner Centre, Luxembourg.