Vodafone and others (CJEU) C-58/08

Updated: Jan 8

(2010)

SUBSIDIARITY AND PROPORTIONALITY

WIDE MARGIN OF DISCRETION IN COMPLEX CASES


LEGAL ANALYSIS

Vodafone challenged a directive (legal base Art. 114 TFEU) which laid down the prices of retailroming in the UK and N-Ireland that have to be paid by public mobile networks. The directive determines what a consumer’s operator must pay to the foreign operator when that consumer uses the latter operator’s network (this is known as the ‘wholesale roaming charges’).


CJEU:

→ Appropriate and necessary measure in light of consumer protection (proportionality)

→ A wide margin of discretion must be accorded in difficult contexts. The directive can only be annulled if it is manifestly inappropriate (§52)

→ Given the interdependence of retail and wholesale charges, the community legislature could legitimately take the view that a common approach at Community level was necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the internal market (subsidiarity)


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