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C 70/8 EN Official Journal of the European Union 22.3.

2003

construed individually or in conjunction to mean that Reference for a preliminary ruling by the Tribunale
they make the itinerant selling on Belgian territory Ordinario di Torino, Sezione IV Penale by order of that
by both Belgian nationals and other EU nationals of Court of 13 January 2003 in the case brought against
subscriptions to periodicals subject to prior authorisation Michel Mulliez and Others
by the Minister, or a Grade 1 official delegated by
him, failing which a punishable offence is committed
thereunder, where under those national provisions a
German company selling or wishing to sell through the (Case C-23/03)
intermediary of vendors established in Belgium subscrip-
tions to periodicals is required to obtain such prior
provisional authorisation or, if it does not do so commits
an offence under those provisions? (2003/C 70/14)

(b) Does it make any difference to the answer to the first


question that that law of 25 June 1993 does not make
the sale of newspapers, periodicals and also subscriptions
to newspapers subject to such prior authorisation?
Reference has been made to the Court of Justice of the
European Communities by order of the Tribunale Ordinario di
Torino, Sezione IV Penale (District Court, Turin — Criminal
Section IV) of 13 January 2003, received at the Court Registry
on 23 January 2003, for a preliminary ruling in the case
brought against Michel Mulliez and Others on the following
questions:

1. May Article 6 of Directive 68/151/EEC (1) be interpreted


Reference for a preliminary ruling by the Rechtbank te
as imposing an obligation upon the Member States to
Rotterdam by order of that Court of 21 January 2003 in
establish appropriate penalties not only for failure on the
the proceedings between Optiver BV and 38 Others
part of commercial companies to publish their balance
against Stichting Autoriteit Financiële Markten
sheet and profit and loss statement but also for publishing
inaccurate versions of those statements or of other
company information addressed to shareholders or the
(Case C-22/03) public or of any other information concerning their
economic, asset or financial position which they are
required to provide and which concern the company
(2003/C 70/13) itself or the group of companies to which it belongs?

2. With reference to the obligation upon each Member State


to adopt ‘appropriate penalties’ for the infringements
Reference has been made to the Court of Justice of the provided for in the First Directive 68/151/EEC and the
European Communities by order of the Rechtbank te Rotter- Fourth Directive 78/660/EEC ( 2), must those directives
dam (District Court, Rotterdam) of 21 January 2003, received and, in particular, the combined provisions of
at the Court Registry on 23 January 2003, for a preliminary Article 44(2)(g) of the Treaty Establishing the European
ruling in the proceedings between Optiver BV and 38 Others Community, Article 2(1)(f) and Article 6 of the First
against Stichting Autoriteit Financiële Markten on the follow- Directive and Article 2(2), (3) and (4) of the Fourth
ing question: Directive, as amended by Directive 83/349/EEC ( 3) and
Directive 90/605/EEC ( 4), be interpreted as precluding the
legislation of a Member State under which no penalty
may be imposed for breach of the duty to publish true
Does the Directive ( 1), and in particular the interpretation of and fair company documents (including the balance sheet
Articles 11 and 12, preclude the imposition of a levy as and profit and loss statement) where:
described above on securities institutions in respect of their
gross profit from securities-related activities?
(a) the falsehood is qualitative only,

( 1) Council Directive 69/335/EEC of 17 July 1969 concerning


indirect taxes on the raising of capital (OJ L 249 of 03.10.1969, (b) the falsehood in, or omission from, the company
p. 25). statement in question gives rise to a distortion of
year-end profits or of the value of net company
assets that, nevertheless, remains below a certain
threshold expressed in percentage terms,