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2011 | 2 (188) | 89-133

Article title

Alcohol in the European Court of Justice case law


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Alcohol has been present in Europe for thousands of years now. Today the production and consumption of alcohol has a great impact on the economies of the member states of the European Union, it is socially, culturally and economically related to the everyday life of Europeans, and 25% of its global production comes from the EU countries. For some EU countries production of certain types of alcohol is a very important part of their national or local identity. For example, wine is produced in 150 regions of the European Union and Germany alone produces 7,5% of world’s beer production. Alcohol has always played a very important role in the evolution of the theory of free movement of goods in the ‘everyday’ life of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Dassonville case inspired the Court of Justice in Luxembourg to define the theory of measure having equivalent effect to a quantitative restriction. Cassis de Dijon case has not only helped to improve the Dassonville formula but also initiated, on the basis of mutual recognition principle, the new attitude towards harmonization in the European Union. In the area of taxes, the alcohol-based case law also played a significant role. The famous case of comparison between beer and wine in the United Kingdom not only forced the Court to interpret article 110 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), but also showed to the member states that they need to be very cautious in constructing their tax systems. This study proves that the alcohol-based case law improved and accelerated the process of constructing the EU’s internal market.





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  • Uniwersytet Warszawski , ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28 00-927 Warszawa, Poland


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Publication order reference


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