Commission v France: ECJ 9 Dec 1997

ECJ (Judgment) The Commission said France had failed to fulfil its obligations under the common organisation of the markets in agricultural, products and under Article 30, in conjunction with Article 5, of the EC Treaty. There had been for more than a decade violent acts committed by individuals and by protest movements of French farmers directly against agricultural products from other Member States. Lorries were damaged, their loads destroyed, shops selling the goods were threatened and the goods damaged. There was ‘a systematic campaign to restrict the supply of agricultural products from other Member States’. France had failed to take adequate or proportionate measures to deter the perpetrators of such offences. France replied that it had condemned the acts, brought criminal prosecutions and monitored what was happening.
Held: ‘it is a fact that, year after year, serious incidents have gravely jeopardised trade in agricultural products in France’. Some incidents went on for several hours and only a very small number of the participants had been prosecuted. Article 30 ‘also applies where a Member State abstains from adopting the measures required in order to deal with obstacles to the free movement of goods which are not caused by the State. . . . Article 30 therefore requires the Member States. . . . when read with Article 5 of the Treaty, to take all necessary and appropriate measures to ensure that that fundamental freedom is respected on their territory’. France had ‘manifestly and persistently abstained from adopting appropriate and adequate measures to put an end to the acts of vandalism which jeopardise the free movement on its territory’ of agricultural products from other Members States. Franve had failed in its Treaty obligations.
Europa Free movement of goods – Agricultural products – Trade barriers resulting from actions by private individuals – Obligations of the Member States.


C-265/95, [1997] EUECJ C-265/95



Cited by:

CitedRegina v Chief Constable of Sussex, ex Parte International Trader’s Ferry Limited HL 2-Apr-1998
Chief Constable has a Wide Discretion on Resources
Protesters sought to prevent the appellant’s lawful trade exporting live animals. The police provided assistance, but then restricted it, pleading lack of resources. The appellants complained that this infringed their freedom of exports under . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

European, Agriculture

Updated: 03 June 2022; Ref: scu.161655