October 25
2020
Anjum Shabbir
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25th September 2020
Internal Market

Mandatory minimum fees for architects and engineers: preliminary questions published on direct effect and compatibility with EU law

The German Federal Court of Justice’s (Bundesgerichtshof)’s preliminary questions to the Court of Justice, made on 15 June 2020, in Thelen Technopark Berlin GmbH v MN (C-261/20) have been published.

The referring court asks whether national legislation on minimum rates for the fees of architects and engineers is compatible with EU primary law and the Services Directive 2006/123.

In particular, it asks whether Article 4(3) TEU (sincere cooperation), paragraph 3 of Article 288 (nature of directives) and Article 260(1) (failure to fulfil obligations) mean that certain provisions of the Services Directive have direct effect (Article 15(1), 2(g) and (3)), leading to the disapplication of national provisions contrary to the directive, in the context of court proceedings, which set minimum rates for planning and supervision services provided by architects and engineers contrary to what may be provided in a contractual fee agreement.

If there is no such direct effect, the referring court asks whether this could amount to an infringement of Article 49 TFEU (freedom of establishment) and that therefore the mandatory minimum fees legislation should no longer be applied in court proceedings between private parties.

Read the published questions here.

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