Monday, 24 January 2011

Germany says no to EU Father Christmas idea

Back in November 2010, I wrote an article about the European Union (EU) expanding a scheme that was initiated to stabilise market prices for certain food products but which has also been used to distribute food to the most deprived persons in the EU as discussed in the House of Lords. Lord Teverson had brought in the reference to Father Christmas because the excess of so-called intervention stocks was first distributed around Christmastime and as this new proposal was being made just before Christmas, I asked if the EU was really Father Christmas for the most deprived EU citizens.

Well, just before Christmas while I was on my Retreat, Germany filed an action against the Commission for the European Communities which clearly answers my question in the negative! Germany seeks the annulment of Commission Regulation (EC) No 983/2008 of 3 October 2008, which contains the plan for the 2009 budget year in respect of distribution of food to the most deprived persons in the Community. Germany has submitted that this regulation has no basis in Community law because the plan created thereby to deal with intervention stocks is now being used purely as a social policy instrument (principal of conferred powers). This argument is very similar to the reasoning I put forward in my November 2010 article on this issue.

Thanks to Thomas Paga for bringing this case to my attention.