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INTERNAL MARKET : NO FOREIGN MEDICAL TREATMENT, BOILERS, DEBT COLLECTORS OR AUDITORS.

France received, on 17 October, a reasoned opinion, the second stage in the EU's infringement proceedings process, for refusing to reimburse the costs of foreign' medical treatment. The European Commission says it is merely mechanically applying the EU Court of Justice's ruling in the Vanbraeckel case (C-368/98) that member states must abolish the requirement for prior authorisation for reimbursement of non-hospital treatment in another member state. By maintaining a requirement for prior authorisation, the Commission concludes, French legislation "imposes a requirement on patients which does not comply with Article 49 of the EC Treaty". France also received a reasoned opinion' for its national independence rules with respect to international networks of audit firms (Articles 24 and 29 of the 2005 French Code of Ethics for auditors).

Austrian restrictions on "foreign" boiler inspection bodies were the subject of another reasoned opinion with the Commission formally requesting it comply with an ECJ judgement (C-275/05). Austria may be playing for time having started procedures for modification of national law to comply with the ECJ. "The timetable fixed by the Austrian authorities has not been met and no information on the adoption of such measures has been provided," noted the Commission.

Italy received a "letter of formal notice", the first stage of an infringement procedure, for failing to comply with a July 2007 ECJ judgement (C-134/05) on extrajudicial debt recovery services. Italy places such stringent requirements (including having premises in each of the provinces for which the licence is requested) as to be incompatible with the freedom of establishment and the free movement of services.

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Publication:European Report
Date:Oct 18, 2007
Words:264
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