Key facts of the case:
Competition - Article 81(1) EC - Beef - Suspension of imports - Fixing of a union price scale - Regulation No 26 - Associations of undertakings - Restriction of competition - Trade union action - Effect on trade between Member States - Obligation to state reasons - Guidelines on the method of setting fines - Principle of proportionality - Gravity and duration of the infringement - Aggravating and attenuating circumstances - Prohibition of multiple sanctions - Rights of the defence.
Outcome of the case:
THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE (First Chamber) hereby:
95) The applicants in Case T-245/03 submit that the Commission manifestly erred in its assessment in limiting, so far as they are concerned, the freedom of association in trade unions, recognised by Article 12(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, proclaimed at Nice on 7 December 2000 (OJ 2000 C 364, p. 1). In particular, the Commission overlooked the specific management functions of French farmers’ unions. The Commission was also seriously imprecise when it demanded that the penalised federations should refrain in future from any agreement, concerted practice or decision which may have an object or effect similar to the infringement alleged against them, whereas a trade union is required to organise concerted action among its members to defend their collective interests.