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Case 265/95 Commission v France (Spanish Strawberries) [1997]

Facts

  • French producers of fresh fruit, particularly strawberries, objected to Spanish imports of strawberries, claiming that such imports caused economic loss to French farmers
  • Following significant collective action by French citizens, preventing the import of Spanish fresh fruit, the Commission took action against France

Issue

  • Was France required to act to prevent the blocking of imports?

Decision

  • Yes, as far as was proportionate

Reasoning

  • France was required to give effect to EU law by virtue of ifs obligation of fidelity under Art 4(3) TEU (as it is now, under the Treaty of Lisbon)
  • By omitting to act, this obligation was breached, as the internal market – an area of free movement for, inter alia, goods, could not function effectively
  • France would be required to take proportionate steps to assist in preventing the blockades
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