Find Lawyers in Barcelona, Spain for European Union Law

Practice Area Overview

European Union (EU) law is divided into 'primary' and 'secondary' legislation. The treaties are primary legislation and the legal grounds for all EU action. Secondary legislation includes regulations, directives, and decisions and it is derived from the principles and objectives set out in the treaties. The treaties settle the rules regarding the entry into force, the publication or the legal effects of the secondary legislation, and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is the one to control the legality of this legislation. 

Moreover, EU law is characterised by its direct effect and primacy. The ECJ in Case Costa/ENEL recognised the supremacy of this legal order over national law. 

With respect to the principle of direct effect, two aspects must be considered. First of all, the immediate or direct applicability implies that certain rules of secondary legislation become part of Member States’ national law without been previously transposed. Secondly, whenever some conditions are met, both legal and natural persons can request the application of EU law in its relations with national public administrations or even with other private persons. 

Another principle to be mentioned is that of the State liability for breach of EU law. According to this principle, Spain as a member state has the obligation to make reparations for the loss and damage caused to individuals. 

EU law is as relevant as Spanish law is in Spain, and it implies rights as well as obligations to the Spanish authorities and the residents and non residents in the country.  

Competition is one of the main legal areas of European law, as this policy is essential for the functioning of the internal market. Within the EU, the European Commission is the main authority responsible for the protection of this market and tries to fight against anticompetitive behavior. The Commission supervises mergers and state aids. Amongst its competences, this institution can carry out investigations, take binding decisions and impose fines when companies do not compete fairly with each other.

The CNMC is the Spanish regulator which protects and rules over competition, and usually its involvement in merger control procedures is high. In Spain, two notification thresholds coexist, referring to market share and turnover volumes. European law lawyers also represent undertakings before administrative and judicial authorities in all kinds of proceedings; including sanctions and damages proceedings (either as claimants or defendants) and merger controls.
Diego Crespo Marimón Abogados

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