France

The Administrative Court of Versailles (France) ruled that hotels have no right to deduct VAT in relation to free hotel stays offered under a ‘hotel loyalty program’

CAA de VERSAILLES, 06.06.2017, 17VE00830, TVA, Programme de fidélité

In the present case, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Versailles (Cour administrative d’appel de Versailles) had to examine a loyalty rewards program in the light of the EU system of VAT.

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The French Court of cassation (Cour de cassation) ruled over the risk of international child abduction under the Brussels II bis Regulation

Cour de cassation, civile, Chambre civile 1, 8 mars 2017, 15-26.664, Publié au bulletin

In the present case, the Court of cassation (Cour de cassation) was requested to examine a measure related to the exercise of parental authority in the light of the objectives fixed in Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 (’Brussels II bis’ Regulation).

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The French Court of cassation (Cour de cassation) applied the principle of equality to social contributions paid in Monaco

Cour de cassation, civile, Chambre civile 2, 9 mars 2017, 16-10.851, Publié au bulletin

In the present case, the Court of cassation (Cour de cassation) had to apply the principle of equality of treatment concerning old-age pension under Article 45 TFEU, Article 34 of the EU Charter of fundamental Rights and recital 5 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004.

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The French Council of State referred a request for a preliminary ruling to the CJEU regarding the rules on the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity

Conseil d’État, 9ème – 10ème chambres réunies, 18/01/2017, 387833

The present case concerned the rules on the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity.

The company Sucrerie de Toury operated a heat and electricity cogeneration for which it used natural gas as fuel. The gas that was delivered to it between 1 January 2006 and 25 December 2007 was submitted by its supplier to domestic tax on natural gas consumption under Article 266 quinquies of the French Customs Code.

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The French Court of Cassation elaborated on an extensive interpretation regarding the rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of long delay of flights

By Lachezar Tsvetkov

The present case concerned the common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of long delay of flights.

It is well known that the long delay of flights causes serious trouble and inconvenience to passengers. Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 comes to ensure the passengers’ rights.

According to article 7 of the aforementioned regulation, passengers shall receive compensation amounting to: (a) EUR 250 for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less;

(b) EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres;

(c) EUR 600 for all flights not falling under (a) or (b).

The French Court of cassation (Cour de cassation) has already delivered several judgments regarding Article 7 of the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. One of the most prominent is dated from January 15, 2015 (Cass. Civ.1, 15 janvier 2015, n° 13-25351).

In abovementioned case, the French Court of cassation confirms the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (Sturgeon Joined cases C-402/07 and C-432/07)  according to which passengers whose flights are delayed may be treated, for the purposes of the application of the right to compensation, as passengers whose flights are cancelled and they may thus rely on the right to compensation laid down in Article 7 of the regulation where they suffer, on account of a flight delay, a loss of time equal to or in excess of three hours, that is, where they reach their final destination three hours or more after the arrival time originally scheduled by the air carrier.

We can clearly observe the evolution of the French Court of cassation regarding article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. On that occasion, the present recent case dated from November 30, 2016 comes to demonstrate and explore the development of the position of the French Court of cassation concerning the right to compensation under article 7. In the present case, the French Court faced an entirely new situation which led to an extensive interpretation of the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 regarding the rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of long delay of flights.

Mrs. X. bought two plane tickets for herself and her husband for Emirates flight from Paris to Kuala-Lumpur via Dubai.

On departure from Paris, the flight was delayed by more than two hours compared to the scheduled time. As a result, Mr. and Mrs. X missed their connection in Dubai.

Therefore, Mr. and Mrs. X. boarded the next day on another flight and arrived in Kuala Lumpur with a delay of about ten hours.

On that occasion, Mrs X. filed an action against the company Emirates before the local Paris court (La juridiction de proximité de Paris) under Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

The aforementioned court ordered company Emirates to pay Mr and Mrs X the sum of EUR 600 each, as compensation, with interest at the statutory rate, as well as a certain sum in reimbursement of Taxi charges.

The company Emirates lodged an appeal before the French Court of cassation on the grounds that the local Paris court violated by misapplication, Articles 3, 6 and 7 of Regulation No 261/2004.

The Court of cassation referred to the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 26 February 2013 (Folkerts, Case C-11/11) according to which compensation is payable, on the basis of Article 7 of Regulation No 261/2004, to a passenger on directly connecting flight operated by the same carrier who has arrived at the final destination at least three hours later than the scheduled arrival time.

Thus, the Court of Cassation considered that, having suffered a delay of more than three hours on arrival in Kuala Lumpur, which was their final destination, Mr. and Mrs. X. were entitled to compensation regardless of whether the flight in question, which was the correspondence of a flight departing from an airport located in the territory of a Member State  to which the Treaty applies within the meaning of Article 3, paragraph 1 a) of the Regulation and which delay was the cause of the missed connection in Dubai, was departing from an airport located in a third country and destined for another third country and carried out by a non-Community air carrier.

Consequently, the Court of cassation dismissed the appeal of the company Emirates and ordered it to pay Mr. and Mrs. X the overall sum of 2,500 euros.

With the present judgment, the French Court of cassation enhanced the rights of passengers and extended its case law regarding Article 7 of the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. This is an important decision, because the proposal for revision of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 aims to change the thresholds for compensation in case of delay.

For more case-law see EuroCases

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The French Court of Cassation elaborated on an extensive interpretation of the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 regarding the rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of long delay of flights

Cour de cassation, civile, Chambre civile 1, 30 novembre 2016, 15-21590

The pre   sent case concerned the common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of long delay of flights. Mrs. X. bought two plane tickets for herself and her husband for Emirates flight from Paris to Kuala-Lumpur via Dubai. On departure from Paris, the flight was delayed by more than two hours compared to the scheduled time. As a result, Mr. and Mrs. X missed their connection in Dubai.

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The Consil of State (Conseil d‘Etat) ruled on a State’s financial contribution for rural development

Conseil d’État 05/10/2016 387375

The present case concerned the rules on support for rural development from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).
The Minister of Agriculture granted the company Bressor a State’s financial contribution as part of the premium agricultural guidance and a premium for improving the processing and marketing of agricultural products under the (EAGGF).

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The Court of cassation (Cour de cassation) ruled on the correlation between the French social security system and EU law

Cour de cassation, civile, Chambre civile 2, 6 octobre 2016, 15-23895

The present case concerned the rules on Social Security Law. Mrs. X. was entitled to a disability pension since 2005. She obtained from the Regional Health Insurance Fund of Île-de-France the maintenance of the aforementioned pension beyond her sixtieth birthday.
Following her dismissal in 2011, the fund notified her of its refusal to continue paying her beyond 30 November 2011 and has claimed repayment of the overpaid pension for the month of December 2011.

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Bulgaria offers sufficient reception conditions for asylum-seekers

Cour Administrative d’Appel de Nantes, 4ème chambre, 19/07/2016, 15NT03704, Inédit au recueil Lebon

In the present case, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Nantes (Cour administrative d’appel de Nantes) was required to rule over a violation of Regulation (EU) No 604/2013.
X, an Afghan national, entered illegally in France after having lodged an asylum application in Bulgaria. The Prefect of La Manche ordered the transfer of X to Bulgarian authorities responsible to examine his application. X challenged the prefectural decree before the Administrative court of Caen (Tribunal administratif de Caen). Having not succeeded, X lodged an appeal before the Administrative Court of Appeal of Nantes alleging a violation of Articles 3, 4 and 5 of Regulation (EU) No 604/2013.

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