Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The defenestration of Prague

Last week, the ECJ passed an interesting judgment in the case C-343/08 EU Commission vs Czech Republic. The Czech Republic argued that there wasn't any point in transposing a number of provisions of the directive as IORPs were not provided for in the Czech retirement system which only knows the first and the third pillar. The Court however did not share that existentialist line of argument and took the constructivist view that a second pillar may be introduced at any time, in which eventuality the rules required by the directive already need to be in place.

While the Czech position appeals to a layman's common sense rather better than the somewhat fundamentalist approach taken by the Court, one important aspect has escaped IPE's attention: The judgment includes a thinly veiled hint (paragraphs 63, 64) that the Court may find the Czech prohibition on IORP establishment in the country in breach with the Treaties' rules on free circulation. That in itself is a valuable signal.

No comments: