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Parliamentary questions
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17 September 2013
Question for written answer E-010604-13
to the Commission
Rule 117
Birgit Collin-Langen (PPE)

 Subject:  Disadvantages for European undertakings as a result of German gambling law
 Answer in writing 

Free enterprise is one of the core elements of the EU. It is based on the freedom to conduct a business (Article 16 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights), the right to property (Article 17 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights) and the freedom of the internal market, in particular the right of establishment and the freedom to provide services (Articles 49 and 56 TFEU). The principle of equality (Article 20 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights) is also essential for enterprise within the EU.

The new German State Treaty on Gambling contradicts these fundamental principles: private and state-owned casinos are treated differently there. This forces more than half of the privately run casinos out of business, and thus violates their right to property and freedom to conduct a business. The State Treaty on Gambling also makes it more difficult for European casino operators to establish themselves in Germany, which constitutes a serious restriction of the right to conduct a business, the right of establishment and the freedom to provide services.

1. Does this regulatory framework in Germany discriminate against European undertakings?

2. The Directorate General for Internal Market and Services has been dealing with the events in German gambling law since 2008 (IP/08/119), and European undertakings are faced with legal uncertainty in Germany. How does the Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry view this situation? Does it intend to take action to tackle this, where appropriate?

Original language of question: DEOJ C 206, 02/07/2014
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