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Parliamentary questions
26 March 2009
Answer given by Ms Kroes on behalf of the Commission

The Commission wishes to recall that allowing local alcohol producers to sell directly to consumers would constitute a derogation from the exclusive right currently granted under Swedish law to Systembolaget, the Swedish monopoly for retail sales of alcoholic beverages.

As to the question of whether such a derogation would constitute a violation of Community law, it should be observed that the ECJ stated in Case C‑189/95(1) that Article 31 of the Treaty does not require the abolition of national monopolies of a commercial character but instead ‘requires them to be adjusted in such a way as to ensure that no discrimination regarding the conditions under which goods are procured and marketed exists between nationals of Member States’. Therefore? the derogation at issue could fall within the scope of Article 31.This position is without prejudice to the application of the Treaty rules on free movement of goods and services contained in Articles 28 and 49 of the Treaty.

(1)Case C‑189/95 Franzén.

OJ C 189, 13/07/2010
Last updated: 31 March 2009Legal notice