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Parliamentary questions
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26 February 2021
Answer given by Mr Breton
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-006861/2020

To the Commission’s knowledge, the Czech Parliament has not yet adopted the proposal to which the Honourable Member refers. As long as the proposal does not constitute a formally adopted legislative instrument, the Commission is not in a position to assess its compatibility with Union law.

Yet, the Commission takes the view that a national measure requiring that a certain percentage of products offered for sale in stores must be of national origin would constitute a measure having an equivalent effect to a quantitative restriction on imports, which is prohibited under Article 34 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), since it would discourage or prevent the stores concerned from purchasing goods from suppliers in other Member States.

While a limitation to the free movement of goods may be justified on one of the public interest grounds set out in Article 36 TFEU or in order to meet overriding requirements, the national provision must be appropriate for securing the attainment of the objective pursued and must not go beyond what is necessary in order to attain it.

As guardian of the Treaties and with the objective to ensure equal treatment among Member States, the Commission monitors the situation in the Czech Republic and may take action, if necessary, once the proposal to which the Honourable Member refers to is adopted.

As a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the EU also committed to treat imported products from other WTO members like products of national origin and to eliminate quantitative restrictions to imports from other WTO members.

National measures treating more favourably products of national origin would raise serious concerns as to their compliance with the legal requirements mentioned above.

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