Web-Companion Essential EU Law in Text: Suggested solutions to the exercises

Please find hereinafter the suggested solutions to the 64 exercises contained in the book "Tobler/Beglinger, Essential EU Law in Text, 5th edition, HVG-ORAC 2020, ISBN 978-963-258-490-4".  To give you an idea how the exercises in the book are phrased, they have been added for the first three instances. Any comments or feedback are welcome.

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Enforcement – Exercise 8

Page: 124 Chapter: Part 5, F. 8.

Suggested solution:

The case involves an action for damages against the Commission, i.e. the issue of EU liability under Art. 340 TFEU. The considerations leading the Court to find in favour of the company relate to both procedural and substantive issues.

On the procedural level, the Court must have found that the action had been brought within the time-limit of five years set up in Art. 46 of the Statute of the Court and that the action was brought by the right applicant (namely the party who suffered a damage) and against the right defendant (namely the EU institution whose failure is at issue).

On the substantive level, the Court must have found that the company suffered an actual damage, which was caused by an illegal act of an EU institution. More specifically, the Court must have found that the careless reading of the reports by the Commission infringed the obligation of the Commission to act carefully and diligently. It is difficult to judge from the little facts that we have whether this concerned a situation where the Commission enjoyed discretion (which means that the breach must have consisted of a manifest and grave disregard of the limits of its discretion) or whether there was no or only considerably reduced discretion (which means that a mere breach of EU law is sufficient to make the act illegal).

Note: this exercise question is modelled after the real Fresh Marine case (Case T-178/98 and C-472/00 P), where a mere breach of EU law was found to be sufficient.

[Relevant Charts: Chapter 12, in particular Charts 12/27-12/30]



Published: 13 August 2020