Federal Republic of Germany v Council of the European Union: ECJ 5 Oct 1994

Europa Bananas – Common organization of the markets – Import regime. In the procedure for the adoption of a regulation by the Council, the fact that the proposal from the Commission, amended in accordance with a political agreement accepted by the competent member on behalf of the Commission at a Council session and approved by the college of Commissioners, is not in writing is of no consequence.
Article 149(3) of the Treaty states that as long as the Council has not acted, the Commission may alter its proposal at any time during the procedures mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 2, and it does not require those amended proposals necessarily to be in writing. Such amended proposals, forming part of the Community legislative process, which is characterized by a certain flexibility, necessary for achieving a convergence of views between the institutions, are fundamentally different from the acts which are adopted by the Commission and are of direct concern to individuals, so that strict compliance with the formalities prescribed for the adoption of acts of direct concern to individuals cannot be required for their adoption.
Although under Article 190 of the Treaty the proposal from the Commission must be referred to by the Council in acts which it can adopt only on a proposal from the Commission, that article does not require citation of any amendment which may subsequently have been made to that proposal. The position would be different only if the Commission had withdrawn its proposal and replaced it by a fresh proposal.
Consultation of the European Parliament, where that is provided for, means that a fresh consultation should take place whenever the text finally adopted, taken as a whole, differs in essence from the text on which the Parliament has already been consulted, except in cases where the amendments substantially correspond to the wishes of the Parliament itself.
In pursuing the objectives of the common agricultural policy, the Community institutions must secure the permanent harmonization made necessary by any conflicts between those objectives taken individually and, where necessary, allow any one of them temporary priority in order to satisfy the demands of the economic factors or conditions in view of which their decisions are made.
Thus the Community legislature, which in matters concerning the common agricultural policy has a broad discretion corresponding to the political responsibilities given to it by Articles 40 and 43 of the Treaty, could thus, without infringing Article 39 of the Treaty, establish a common organization of the market in bananas intended to safeguard the income of the agricultural community concerned by guaranteeing the existing level of Community production and providing for suitable machinery for increasing its productivity, to stabilize the market by safeguarding Community production and regulating imports, and, by that machinery supplemented by the mechanism for increasing the import quota if necessary, to assure the availability of supplies.
A breach of Article 39 cannot result from the fact that in certain Member States the establishment of the common organization may have had the effect of increasing prices. The substitution for national arrangements characterized by considerable price differences of a common organization inevitably results in an adjustment of prices throughout the Community; the objective of ensuring reasonable prices for consumers must be considered at the level of the common market as a whole; and priority may be given temporarily to other objectives by the Community legislature.
The fact that Regulation No 404/93 on the common organization of the market in bananas pursues objectives of agricultural policy as well as a development policy in favour of the ACP States does not mean that it cannot be based on Article 43 of the Treaty alone.
First, Article 43 of the Treaty is the appropriate legal basis for any legislation concerning the production and marketing of agricultural products listed in Annex II to the Treaty which contributes to the achievement of one or more of the objectives of the common agricultural policy set out in Article 39 of the Treaty, even where other objectives are pursued at the same time.
Secondly, the creation of a common organization of the market requires, alongside the regulation of Community production, the establishment of an import regime to stabilize the markets and ensure sales of Community production if, as in the case of bananas, the internal and external aspects of the common policy cannot be separated, it being understood that the institutions, when making use of their rule-making powers, cannot disregard the international obligations entered into by the Community under the Lome Convention.
The first paragraph of Article 42 of the Treaty recognizes both the priority of the agricultural policy over the objectives of the Treaty in the field of competition and the power of the Council to decide to what extent the competition rules are to be applied in the agricultural sector.


C-280/93, [1993] EUECJ C-280/93R



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CitedSony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd v Customs and Excise ChD 27-Jul-2005
The appellants had imported Playstation computer games. They appealed refusal of a rebate of 50 million euros paid in VAT before a reclassification of the equipment so as to make it exempt from VAT.
Held: ‘The effect of the annulment of a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

European, Customs and Excise

Updated: 03 June 2022; Ref: scu.161130