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Document 62008CA0439

Case C-439/08: Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 7 December 2010 (reference for a preliminary ruling from the Hof van beroep te Brussel — Belgium) — Vlaamse federatie van verenigingen van Brood- en Banketbakkers, Ijsbereiders en Chocoladebewerkers ‘VEBIC’ VZW v Raad voor de Mededinging, Minister van Economie (Competition policy — National proceedings — National competition authorities participating in judicial proceedings — Hybrid national competition authority being judicial and administrative in nature — Appeal against the decision of such an authority — Regulation (EC) No 1/2003)

OJ C 55, 19.2.2011, p. 2–3 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

19.2.2011   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 55/2


Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 7 December 2010 (reference for a preliminary ruling from the Hof van beroep te Brussel — Belgium) — Vlaamse federatie van verenigingen van Brood- en Banketbakkers, Ijsbereiders en Chocoladebewerkers ‘VEBIC’ VZW v Raad voor de Mededinging, Minister van Economie

(Case C-439/08) (1)

(Competition policy - National proceedings - National competition authorities participating in judicial proceedings - Hybrid national competition authority being judicial and administrative in nature - Appeal against the decision of such an authority - Regulation (EC) No 1/2003)

2011/C 55/03

Language of the case: Dutch

Referring court

Hof van beroep te Brussel

Parties to the main proceedings

Appellant: VZW Vlaamse federatie van verenigingen van Brood- en Banketbakkers, Ijsbereiders en Chocoladebewerkers ‘VEBIC’ VZW

Respondents: Raad voor de Mededinging, Minister van Economie

Re:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Hof van beroep te Brussel — Interpretation of Articles 2, 5, 15(1) and 35(3) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the competition rules laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJ 2003 L 1, p. 1) — Submission by national competition authorities of written observations and arguments of fact and of law in the course of an appeal against their decision — Plurality of authorities in a Member State

Operative part of the judgment

Article 35 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty must be interpreted as precluding national rules which do not allow a national competition authority to participate, as a defendant or respondent, in judicial proceedings brought against a decision that the authority itself has taken. It is for the national competition authorities to gauge the extent to which their intervention is necessary and useful having regard to the effective application of European Union competition law. However, if the national competition authority consistently fails to enter an appearance in such judicial proceedings, the effectiveness of Articles 101 TFEU and 102 TFEU is jeopardised.

In the absence of European Union rules, the Member States remain competent, in accordance with the principle of procedural autonomy, to designate the body or bodies of the national competition authority which may participate, as a defendant or respondent, in proceedings brought before a national court against a decision which the authority itself has taken, while at the same time ensuring that fundamental rights are observed and that European Union competition law is fully effective.


(1)  OJ C 313, 6.12.2008.


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