Case C-419/12, Crono Service – Italian chauffeur-driven hire-cars, cartels and the freedom to provide services

Where the conditions for a municipal licence for chauffeur-driven hire-cars stipulate that a licensee must not only have their registered office inside the municipality but also that the car and chauffeur must start and finish their service inside that municipality, then are either of these conditions compatible with EU competition law or the freedom to provide services?

Facts
Crono Service is the company listed first among the 111 others named as claimants in this action. The defendant is the Municipality of Roma Capitale. There is also an intervener, UGL Taxi [Unione Generale del Lavoro Taxi]. The intervener is supported in this action by 53 others comprising of the trade unions and professional associations that represent taxi drivers, plus individually-named taxi drivers, and co-operatives of chauffeur-driven cars and limousine services. The intervener favours the position of the Municipality of Roma Capitale.

The history of the dispute lies in a judicial review that seeks to annul a couple of the decisions taken in 2011 by two of Rome’s elected bodies: the Consiglio del Comune di Roma, and the Giunta del Comune di Roma. These decisions regulate the grant and distribution of licences allowing traffic onto the territory of the Municipality of Rome, and access to the areas of the city falling within the ZZTL (a zone of the city which is subject to special rules that are designed to restrict the volume of, and calm, the traffic circulating at the heart of Rome, and also further road safety and reduce the amount traffic pollution). The scope of the dispute has been widened to include two further decisions that have been taken by other public bodies in Rome. The first concerns the temporal effect of a permit for chauffeur-driven hire-cars; these are valid only until the 31 December of each year, and can be renewed for a further year. The second decision is that chauffeur-driven hire-car permit-holders, who are registered outside of Rome, need to pay a fee of 89 euro for each permit they hold.

Question Referred
According to the Curia website, the Question asked by the Administrative District Court of Lazio reads:

Do Article 49 TFEU, Article 3 TEU, Articles 3 TFEU, 4 TFEU, 5 TFEU, 6 TFEU, 101 TFEU and 102 TFEU preclude the application of Articles 3(3), 8(3) and 11 of Law No 21 of 1992 [on the carriage of passengers by public non-scheduled car and coach services] in so far as the latter provisions respectively provide that ‘[t]he registered office of the carrier, and the garage, must be located, exclusively, within the territory of the municipality which issued the authorisation’, that ‘[i]n order to obtain and maintain an authorisation for a car- and driver-hire service it is necessary to have the use, pursuant to a valid legal title, of a registered office, a garage or a vehicle rank located in the territory of the municipality which issued the authorisation’ and that ‘[b]ookings for car- and driver-hire services shall take place at the garage. Each individual car- and driver-hire service must begin and end at the garage located in the municipality in which the authorisation was issued, returning to that garage, although the collection of the user and the user’s arrival at his destination may take place also in other municipalities’?

Comment
The CJEU has now joined this case together with Case C-420/12, Anitrav (Associazione Nazionale Imprese Trasporto Viaggiatori). That reference also originates from the Administrative District Court of Lazio. The question in Anitrav is identical to the one in Case C-419/12, Crono Service.

The referring judge in Case C-419/12, Crono Service has already asked questions of the CJEU in the similar case of Case C-162/12, Airport Shuttle Express – municipal restrictions on chauffeur-driven hire-cars

Update
The case is being heard by the Third Chamber. The Advocate General’s Opinion is scheduled to be handed down on 26 September 2013. This is also the due date for the Opinion in Case C-162/12, Airport Shuttle Express.

Update – 1 December 2013
Restrictions on ‘private hire vehicles with drivers’ is now the subject of a state aid reference from the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, see further Case C-518/13, Eventech – driving a minicab through the rules governing bus lanes.

Update – 20 January 2014
The judgment of the Third Chamber is due out on the 13th of February 2014.

Update – 5 August 2014
Judgment

A version of the CJEU’s judgment in Case C-419/12, Crono Service ECLI:EU:C:2014:81 is reproduced below. The reproduction is not authentic. Only the versions of the document published in the ‘Reports of Cases’ or the ‘Official Journal of the European Union’ are authentic. The source of the reproduction is the Eur-Lex Europa web site. The information on that site is subject to a disclaimer, and a copyright notice.

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (Third Chamber)

13 February 2014 ()

(Requests for a preliminary ruling – Articles 49 TFEU, 101 TFEU and 102 TFEU – Car and driver hire services – Purely internal situation – Jurisdiction of the Court – Conditions for admissibility)

In Joined Cases C‑419/12 and C‑420/12,

REQUESTS for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU from the Tribunale amministrativo regionale per il Lazio (Italy), made by decisions of 20 June 2012, received at the Court on 14 September 2012, in the proceedings

Crono Service scarl and Others (C‑419/12),

Anitrav – Associazione Nazionale Imprese Trasporto Viaggiatori (C‑420/12)

v

Roma Capitale,

Regione Lazio (C‑420/12),

in the presence of:

UGL Taxi – Unione Generale del Lavoro Taxi and Others,

Codacons – Coordinamento delle associazioni per la tutela dell’ambiente e dei diritti degli utenti e consumatori (C‑420/12),

THE COURT (Third Chamber),

composed of M. Ilešič, President of the Chamber, C.G. Fernlund, A. Ó Caoimh (Rapporteur), C. Toader and E. Jarašiūnas, Judges,

Advocate General: J. Kokott,

Registrar: A. Impellizzeri, Administrator,

having regard to the written procedure and further to the hearing on 19 June 2013,

after considering the observations submitted on behalf of:

–        Crono Service scarl and Others, by P. Troianiello, avvocato,

–        Anitrav – Associazione Nazionale Imprese Trasporto Viaggiatori, by M. Piancatelli and V. Porro, avvocati,

–        Roma Capitale, by R. Rocchi and A. Rizzo, avvocati,

–        UGL Taxi – Unione Generale del Lavoro Taxi and Others, by N. Moravia and M. Giustiniani, avvocati,

–        the European Commission, by F. Moro and J. Hottiaux, acting as Agents,

after hearing the Opinion of the Advocate General at the sitting on 26 September 2013,

gives the following

Judgment

1        These requests for a preliminary ruling concern the interpretation of Article 3 TEU and Articles 3 TFEU, 4 TFEU, 5 TFEU, 6 TFEU, 49 TFEU, 101 TFEU and 102 TFEU.

2        The requests have been made in two sets of proceedings, respectively between: (i) Crono Service scarl and 111 other applicants, on the one hand, and Roma Capitale, on the other; and (ii) Anitrav – Associazione Nazionale Imprese Trasporto Viaggiatori, on the one hand, and Roma Capitale and Regione Lazio (Lazio Region), on the other. Both sets of proceedings concern the rules governing the provision of car and driver hire services (noleggio con conducente).

 Italian law

 National legislation

3        Article 1 of Framework Law No 21 of 15 January 1992 on the carriage of passengers by non-scheduled public car and coach services (Gazzetta Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana – GURI – No 18 of 23 January 1992), as amended by Decree-Law No 207 of 30 December 2008 (GURI No 304 of 31 December 2008), converted into law, after amendment, by Law No 14 of 27 February 2009 (ordinary supplement to GURI No 49 of 28 February 2009) (‘Law No 21/1992’), defines ‘non-scheduled public road passenger transport services’ as ‘collective or individual passenger transport services, additional and complementary to scheduled public passenger transport services’.

4        Article 3 of Law No 21/1992 provides:

‘1.      Car and driver hire service shall be a service for specific users who file a special request with the garage, booking that service for a given duration and/or itinerary.

2.      The vehicles must be parked in the garages …

3.      The registered office of the carrier and the garage must be located, exclusively, in the territory of the municipality which issued the authorisation.’

5        Article 4 of that law provides that, ‘after establishing the rules to be observed by the municipalities when drafting their regulations governing the provision of non-scheduled public road passenger transport services, the regions shall delegate the administrative duties relating to the enforcement of those regulations … to the local authorities in order to gain an overview of the way in which non-scheduled public transport complements other modes of transport in the context of regional and economic planning’ and that, ‘subject to regional legislation, the local authorities to whom such administrative duties … have been delegated shall regulate the provision of non-scheduled public road passenger transport services by means of specific regulations which shall be standardised at regional level so as to achieve greater efficiency’.

6        Article 5(1) of that law states:

‘When establishing the regulations governing the provision of non-scheduled public road passenger transport services, the municipalities shall specify:

(a)      the number and type of vehicles … to be assigned to each service;

(d)      the requirements and conditions for the grant of a licence to operate a taxi service or an authorisation to operate a car and driver hire service.’

7        Article 5a of Law No 21/1992, entitled ‘Access to the territory of other municipalities’, permits municipalities to regulate access to their territory or specifically to their restricted traffic zones (‘RTZs’) (Zone a traffico limitato) on the part of holders of licences or authorisations issued by other municipalities, ‘by requiring prior notice to be given, together with a solemn statement, attesting to compliance with the operating requirements referred to in the present law, and the information relating to the individual service in respect of which the notice is given and/or an access fee is paid’.

8        Under Article 8 of Law No 21/1992:

‘1.      A licence to operate a taxi service or an authorisation to operate a car and driver hire service shall be issued by the municipal authorities, on the basis of a public procurement procedure, to individuals who own or lease the use of a vehicle …; such persons may own or lease that vehicle individually or as members of an association.

2.      Each licence or authorisation is issued in respect of one particular vehicle … only. … An individual may … accumulate a number of authorisations for operating a car and driver hire service …

3.      In order to obtain and maintain an authorisation for operating a car and driver hire service, it is compulsory to have the use, on the basis of a valid legal title, of a registered office [or] a garage … located in the territory of the municipality which issued the authorisation.’

9        Article 11(4) of Law No 21/1992 states:

‘Bookings for car and driver hire services shall take place at the garage. Each individual car and driver hire must begin and end at a garage located in the municipality in which the authorisation was issued, returning to that garage, although the collection of the user and the user’s arrival at his destination may take place also in other municipalities.’

 Lazio regional legislation

10      Article 5 of Lazio Regional Law No 58 of 26 October 1993 laying down measures relating to the provision of non-scheduled public transport and rules relating to the role of drivers of non-scheduled public transport services as referred to in Article 6 of Law No 21/1992 (Bollettino ufficiale della Regione Lazio No 31 of 10 November 1993), as amended by Article 58 of Lazio Regional Law No 27 of 28 December 2006 (ordinary supplement No 5 to Bollettino ufficiale della Regione Lazio No 36 of 30 December 2006) (‘Regional Law No 58/1993’), provides:

‘Car and driver hire service shall be a service for specific users who file a special request with the carrier’s registered office, booking that service for a given duration and/or itinerary. Users shall be collected, or the service shall begin, in the territory of the municipality which issued the authorisation. The service may be provided to any destination. The vehicles must be parked in the garages.’

11      Paragraph 2 of Article 10 of Regional Law No 58/1993, which is entitled ‘Obligations of holders of a licence to operate a taxi service or an authorisation to operate a car and driver hire service’, provides:

‘Except as provided for …, users shall be collected and the service shall begin exclusively within the territory of the municipality which issued the licence or the authorisation and the service may be provided to any destination, subject to the consent of the driver in the case of destinations outside that municipality.’

12      Article 13a of that regional law establishes the criteria to be met when determining the number of taxi licences and car and driver hire authorisations to be issued for a given area. According to that article:

‘1.      Each province shall establish the rules to be observed by the municipalities when determining the local need for taxi services and car and driver hire services, and when establishing, under the regulations referred to in Article 14, the number of vehicles … required to provide those services.

2.      The rules referred to in paragraph 1 shall reflect the following factors: (a) the resident population; (b) the size of the area; (c) the intensity of tourist flows; (d) the presence of nursing homes, holiday homes and mobility centres; (e) the availability of other public transport services; (f) the number of licences and authorisations already issued.

3.      Each province shall perform the tasks referred to in paragraph 1 following consultation, in the course of an appropriate preparatory session, of the municipalities and the representatives of the occupational groups involved.

…’

13      Article 17 of Regional Law No 58/1993 sets out the conditions for entry in a provincial register of drivers. Article 17(1)(a) states that, in order to be entered in the register, it is necessary to be ‘an Italian national or a national of one of the Member States of the European Economic Community’.

 Rome municipal legislation

14      The Municipality of Rome approved the regulation governing non‑scheduled public transport services (‘the Regolamento capitolino’) by Decision No 68 of the Consiglio del Comune di Roma (Council of the Municipality of Rome) of 8 and 9 November 2011, which sets out the amended version of that regulation.

15      Article 8(3) of the Regolamento capitolino provides, inter alia, that, for each individual car and driver hire service, ‘users shall be collected, or the service shall begin, in the territory of the municipality which issued the authorisation and the service may be provided to any destination, subject to compliance with the obligations laid down in Article 11(3) and (4) of [Law No 21/1992]’.

16      As a prerequisite for operating a car and driver hire service, Article 9(2) of the Regolamento capitolino requires the carrier to have the use of a garage located within the territory of the municipality and suitable for the parking of the vehicles used.

17      Under Article 29(1) of the Regolamento capitolino, ‘car and driver hire vehicles for which an authorisation has been issued by the municipality of Rome shall be parked exclusively in the garages specified in that authorisation, in which the vehicles are to remain at the disposal of users’. Article 29(2) of that regulation provides that, for holders of authorisations to operate car and driver hire services which have been issued by other municipalities, ‘access to the territory of [Roma Capitale] and to its [RTZs] shall be permitted’ only if those holders provide a solemn statement attesting to their ‘compliance with’ and ‘fulfilment of the operating requirements’ referred to in Law No 21/1992.

18      In that regard, Decision No 403 of the Giunta del Comune di Roma (Governing Board of the Municipality of Rome) of 14 December 2011 lays down detailed rules and procedures for the grant of authorisations for access to the territory of Roma Capitale and to its RTZs for car and driver hire vehicles which have been authorised by other municipalities.

19      By virtue of two decisions published respectively on 12 March 2012 and 22 March 2012 on the websites of the Municipality of Rome and the Agenzia Roma Servizi per la Mobilità srl, both of which came into force on 2 April 2012, carriers operating car and driver hire services and holding authorisations issued by municipalities other than Roma Capitale must pay approximately EUR 90 per year for authorised access to Roma Capitale’s RTZs.

 The disputes in the main proceedings and the question referred for a preliminary ruling

20      The cases before the Tribunale amministrativo regionale per il Lazio (Regional Administrative Court, Lazio; ‘the referring court’) concern two actions for annulment of the Regolamento capitolino, Decision No 403 of the Giunta del Comune di Roma of 14 December 2011, and the decisions of 12 March 2012 and 22 March 2012 referred to in paragraph 19 above.

21      The applicants in the main proceedings have invoked several grounds of unlawfulness – with respect to both Italian and EU law – arising from Law No 21/1992 as implemented in Roma Capitale by Articles 8(3), 9(2) and 29 of the Regolamento capitolino.

22      Although the actions before the referring court ostensibly concern the entirety of the legislation referred to in paragraph 20 above, it is clear from the documents before the Court that, for the purposes of the requests for a preliminary ruling, the provisions chiefly contested before the referring court are Articles 8(3), 9(2) and 29(1) and (2) of the Regolamento capitolino ‘in so far as they refer to the application of Article 11(4) of [Law No 21/1992]’.

23      For the referring court, the national legislation at issue in the main proceedings appears to be inconsistent with Article 49 TFEU and with the ‘Community principles of competition’ in that it provides that the registered office of the carrier, and the garage, must be located, exclusively, within the territory of the municipality which issued the authorisation; that bookings for car and driver hire services are to be made at that garage; and that each individual car and driver hire service must begin and end at the garage located in the municipality in which the authorisation was issued, returning to that garage, although the collection of the user and the user’s arrival at his destination may take place also in other municipalities.

24      In those circumstances, the Tribunale amministrativo regionale per il Lazio decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the following question – which is worded identically in Case C‑419/12 and Case C‑420/12 – to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling:

‘Do Article 49 TFEU, Article 3 TEU, Articles 3 TFEU, 4 TFEU, 5 TFEU, 6 TFEU, 101 TFEU and 102 TFEU preclude the application of Articles 3(3), 8(3) and 11 of [Law No 21/1992] in so far as the latter provisions respectively provide that “[t]he registered office of the carrier, and the garage, must be located, exclusively, within the territory of the municipality which issued the authorisation”; that “[i]n order to obtain and maintain an authorisation for operating a car and driver hire service, it is compulsory to have the use, on the basis of a valid legal title, of a registered office [or] a garage … located in the territory of the municipality which issued the authorisation”; and that “[b]ookings for car and driver hire services shall take place at the garage[;] [e]ach individual car and driver hire must begin and end at a garage located in the municipality in which the authorisation was issued, returning to that garage, although the collection of the user and the user’s arrival at his destination may take place also in other municipalities”?’

25      By order of the President of the Court of 5 November 2012, Case C‑419/12 and Case C‑420/12 were joined for the purposes of the written and oral procedure, and of the judgment.

 Consideration of the question referred

26      By its question, the referring court asks whether various provisions of EU law preclude certain conditions laid down in the national, regional and municipal legislation on the authorisation and operation of car and driver hire services in the municipality of Rome.

27      In view of the wording of the question referred, it should be borne in mind from the outset that in the context of Article 267 TFEU the Court has no jurisdiction to rule either on the interpretation of provisions of national laws or regulations or on their conformity with EU law (see, inter alia, Case C‑107/98 Teckal [1999] ECR I‑8121, paragraph 33, and Case C‑237/04 Enirisorse [2006] ECR I‑2843, paragraph 24 and the case-law cited).

28      That being so, it is settled law that, if questions have been improperly formulated or if they go beyond the scope of the powers conferred on the Court by Article 267 TFEU, the Court is free to extract from all the information provided by the referring court and, in particular, from the statement of grounds in the order for reference the elements of EU law which, having regard to the subject-matter of the dispute, require interpretation (see, inter alia, Case C‑384/08 Attanasio Group [2010] ECR I‑2055, paragraph 18 and the case-law cited). To that end, the Court may have to reformulate the questions referred to it (see, inter alia, Attanasio Group, paragraph 19; Case C‑243/09 Fuß [2010] ECR I‑9849, paragraph 39 and the case-law cited; and Case C‑249/11 Byankov [2012] ECR, paragraph 57 and the case-law cited).

29      Applying that case-law, it may be accepted that, although the wording of the question referred suggests that the national court is seeking the direct application of EU law to the disputes before it, that court is in fact seeking an interpretation of EU law for the purposes of adjudicating those disputes.

30      In those circumstances, the question referred must be understood as seeking, in essence, to ascertain whether Article 49 TFEU or the EU competition rules are to be interpreted as precluding legislation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, to the extent that it makes the operation of car and driver hire services conditional upon the carriers meeting the detailed obligations listed in that question.

31      As regards, first, the EU competition rules, the Court has consistently held that the need to provide an interpretation of EU law which will be of use to the referring court requires that court to define the factual and legal context of its questions or, at the very least, to explain the factual circumstances on which those questions are based. Those requirements are of particular importance in the field of competition, which is characterised by complex factual and legal situations (see, inter alia, Attanasio Group, paragraph 32 and the case-law cited, and Joined Cases C‑357/10 to C‑359/10 Duomo Gpa and Others [2012] ECR, paragraph 22).

32      In the present cases, however, the orders for reference do not provide the Court with the factual and legal information necessary for it to be able to determine the circumstances in which legislation such as that at issue in the main proceedings might fall within the scope of the EU competition rules. In particular, those orders do not provide any explanation of the connection which the referring court sees between those provisions and the disputes in the main proceedings or their subject-matter.

33      In such circumstances, the question referred must be declared inadmissible to the extent that it seeks an interpretation of the EU competition rules (see, by analogy, inter alia, Duomo Gpa and Others, paragraph 24, and Joined Cases C‑162/12 and C‑163/12 Airport Shuttle Express and Others [2014] ECR, paragraphs 37 to 42).

34      As regards, secondly, Article 49 TFEU, it is common ground that all elements of the disputes before the referring court are confined within a single Member State. In those circumstances, it is necessary to determine whether the Court has jurisdiction in the present cases to give a ruling on that provision (see, by analogy, inter alia, Case C‑380/05 Centro Europa 7 [2008] ECR I‑349, paragraph 64; Case C‑245/09 Omalet [2010] ECR I‑13771, paragraphs 9 and 10; and Duomo Gpa and Others, paragraph 25).

35      Legislation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which, according to its wording, applies without distinction to operators established in the Italian Republic and to operators established in other Member States, is generally likely to fall within the scope of the provisions on the fundamental freedoms established by the FEU Treaty only to the extent to which it applies to situations related to intra-Community trade (see, to that effect, inter alia, Joined Cases C‑321/94 to C‑324/94 Pistre and Others [1997] ECR I‑2343, paragraph 45; Case C‑448/98 Guimont [2000] ECR I‑10663, paragraph 21; and Duomo Gpa and Others, paragraph 26 and the case-law cited).

36      As regards, more specifically, Article 49 TFEU, the Court has consistently held that that provision cannot be applied to activities which have no factor linking them with any of the situations governed by EU law and which are confined in all relevant respects within a single Member State (see, to that effect, inter alia, Case 20/87 Gauchard [1987] ECR 4879, paragraph 12; Case 204/87 Bekaert [1988] ECR 2029, paragraph 12; Case C‑212/06 Government of the French Community and Walloon Government [2008] ECR I‑1683, paragraph 33; and Case C‑84/11 Susisalo and Others [2012] ECR, paragraph 18 and the case-law cited).

37      In the present context, as the disputes before the referring court are of a local nature and all the facts of those cases are confined within a single Member State, it cannot be presumed that the legislation at issue in the main proceedings will have any cross-border impact. There is nothing in the orders for reference to suggest that those disputes are of cross-border interest or that they are linked with any of the situations governed by EU law. In particular, the referring court has not explained how the legislation at issue before it could hinder operators who are nationals of Member States other than the Italian Republic from exercising their right to freedom of establishment as provided for in Article 49 TFEU.

38      It is true that, according to the line of authority devolving from Guimont, the Court’s answer to questions concerning fundamental freedoms of the European Union may, even in a purely internal situation, nevertheless be of use to the referring court, especially if its national law were to require it to allow a national to enjoy the same rights as those which a national of another Member State would derive from EU law in the same situation (see, inter alia, Case C‑393/08 Sbarigia [2010] ECR I‑6337, paragraph 23, and Susisalo and Others, paragraph 20 and the case-law cited).

39      In the present context, the situation contemplated in the case-law cited in paragraph 38 above concerns the rights which a national of a Member State other than the Italian Republic could derive from EU law, were that person to be in the same situation as the applicants in the cases before the referring court.

40      By bringing those cases before the referring court, those applicants appear to be attempting to gain access, under conditions other than those currently being applied to them – or, indeed, free of any conditions at all – to the territory of Roma Capitale and, in particular, to the RTZs there, with a view to operating car and driver hire services in those areas. However, it can be seen from the orders for reference that such access is sought, not in order to pursue that activity on a stable and continuous basis from there, in accordance with an authorisation relating to that territory, but with a view to pursuing that activity on a more ad hoc basis from other territories, in accordance with authorisations issued by other municipalities, but without being obliged to comply with all the requirements imposed by those authorisations.

41      Thus, unlike the situations which gave rise to the judgments in cases such as Attanasio Group, Joined Cases C‑570/07 and C‑571/07 Blanco Pérez and Chao Gómez [2010] ECR I‑4629, or Case C‑539/11 Ottica New Line Di Vincenzo [2013] ECR, the situation that gave rise to the actions before the referring court falls by nature to be measured, not against the freedom of establishment, but – prima facie – against the freedom to provide services.

42      However, pursuant to Article 58 TFEU, the freedom to provide services in the transport sector is not governed by Article 56 TFEU, but rather by Title VI in Part Three of the FEU Treaty, which concerns the common transport policy (see Case C‑338/09 Yellow Cab Verkehrsbetrieb [2010] ECR I‑13927, paragraphs 29 and 30). Moreover, as the referring court points out, car and driver hire services such as those at issue in the main proceedings do not, in essence, fall within the scope of the provisions adopted, on the basis of Article 91(1) TFEU, in order to liberalise transport services.

43      It follows that, in the light of the specific circumstances of the disputes before the referring court, the interpretation of Article 49 TFEU has no bearing on the facts and purpose of those disputes (see, by analogy, Sbarigia, paragraphs 23, 24, 27 and 28). As the Court has consistently held, it has no jurisdiction to answer a question referred for a preliminary ruling in such circumstances (see, to that effect, inter alia, Case C‑415/93 Bosman [1995] ECR I‑4921, paragraph 61; Case C‑567/07 Woningstichting Sint Servatius [2009] ECR I‑9021, paragraph 43; Omalet, paragraph 11; and Case C‑27/11 Vinkov [2012] ECR, paragraph 44).

44      In the light of all of the foregoing, the Court does not have jurisdiction to answer the present requests from the Tribunale amministrativo regionale per il Lazio for a preliminary ruling to the extent that those requests concern the interpretation of Article 49 TFEU. Those requests must be declared inadmissible to the extent that they concern the interpretation of other provisions of EU law.

 Costs

45      Since these proceedings are, for the parties to the main proceedings, a step in the actions pending before the national court, the decision on costs is a matter for that court. Costs incurred in submitting observations to the Court, other than the costs of those parties, are not recoverable.

On those grounds, the Court (Third Chamber) hereby rules:

The Court of Justice of the European Union does not have jurisdiction to answer the requests from the Tribunale amministrativo regionale per il Lazio (Italy) for a preliminary ruling, made by decisions of 20 June 2012 in Joined Cases C‑419/12 and C‑420/12, to the extent that those requests concern the interpretation of Article 49 TFEU. Those requests are inadmissible to the extent that they concern the interpretation of other provisions of EU law.

[Signatures]


Language of the case: Italian.