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Animal Welfare, Public Procurement and the EU Internal Market - A Recurrent Dilemma in Swedish Policy Making?

Persson, Kristin LU (2016) LAGM01 20161
Department of Law
Abstract
On the basis of an article recently authored by the Swedish Minister for Public Administration, the main purpose of this thesis is to examine whether contracting authorities are allowed to refer to ‘Swedish’ standards of animal welfare (whether explicitly or not) when purchasing foodstuffs, without infringing the EU rules on free movement. In making this assessment, the thesis identifies three recent developments that could be expected to have an impact on the discretion of contracting authorities. First, EU secondary animal welfare legislation has become increasingly harmonised over the years. This could possibly point towards a lower margin of discretion. Second, the Lisbon Treaty introduced an article on animal welfare in Article 13... (More)
On the basis of an article recently authored by the Swedish Minister for Public Administration, the main purpose of this thesis is to examine whether contracting authorities are allowed to refer to ‘Swedish’ standards of animal welfare (whether explicitly or not) when purchasing foodstuffs, without infringing the EU rules on free movement. In making this assessment, the thesis identifies three recent developments that could be expected to have an impact on the discretion of contracting authorities. First, EU secondary animal welfare legislation has become increasingly harmonised over the years. This could possibly point towards a lower margin of discretion. Second, the Lisbon Treaty introduced an article on animal welfare in Article 13 TFEU. This could instead point towards a wider margin of discretion. Third, the Union recently adopted a package of new Public Procurement Directives. This, too, could point towards a wider margin of discretion.

By way of introduction, the thesis points out that express references to ‘Swedish’ standards of animal welfare would not be in compliance with EU law. Such references would be contrary to the free movement provisions and the general principles of EU law (especially the principle of non-discrimination) and go against Article 42(4) of the new Public Sector Directive, which provides that Member States shall not refer to a “specific origin” when drafting the technical specifications. This conclusion gains support from the decisions in Skåne and Halland, where the Swedish courts found that references to the Swedish Animal Welfare Act were not allowed.

When it comes to less discriminatory requirements, the thesis argues that one has to make a distinction between different areas of animal welfare. As far as certain species of animals are concerned (calves, pigs, hens and so on), these are all governed by minimum harmonising directives containing a free movement clause. Based on the Court’s decision in CIWF, this means that Member States are allowed to impose more demanding national measures against their own producers, but not so as to impede the free movement of goods. As far as other types of requirements are concerned (transport, slaughter and antibiotics), these are instead governed by regulations. Generally speaking, this means that Member States are not allowed to impose any stricter requirements than those laid down in the regulation itself. All in all, this suggests that the scope for more demanding measures in the field of animal welfare remains very small. Based on the judgements in Medipac and Commission v Greece, the thesis argues that the same kind of reasoning should apply to contracting authorities as well.

Finally, the thesis considers that neither the introduction of Article 13 TFEU, nor the adoption of the new Procurement Directives could be expected to ‘trump’ the greater harmonisation of EU secondary animal welfare legislation. This means that the impact of these changes on public purchasers’ discretion will remain rather limited as things stand today (Less)
Popular Abstract (Swedish)
Med utgångspunkt i en artikel skriven av den svenska civilministern, syftar uppsatsen till att undersöka huruvida det är förenligt med EU-rätten att hänvisa till ’svenska’ djurskyddskrav (uttryckligen eller inte) vid offentlig upphandling av livsmedel. Uppsatsen syftar särskilt till att undersöka i vilken utsträckning tre aktuella reformer skulle kunna tänkas påverka handlingsutrymmet för upphandlande myndigheter. För det första har EU:s lagstiftning på djurskyddsområdet blivit alltmer harmoniserad de senaste åren. Det skulle kunna tala för ett mindre handlingsutrymme. För det andra förde Lissabonfördraget med sig en hänvisning till djurskydd i artikel 13 FEUF. Det skulle kunna tala för ett större handlingsutrymme. För det tredje antog EU... (More)
Med utgångspunkt i en artikel skriven av den svenska civilministern, syftar uppsatsen till att undersöka huruvida det är förenligt med EU-rätten att hänvisa till ’svenska’ djurskyddskrav (uttryckligen eller inte) vid offentlig upphandling av livsmedel. Uppsatsen syftar särskilt till att undersöka i vilken utsträckning tre aktuella reformer skulle kunna tänkas påverka handlingsutrymmet för upphandlande myndigheter. För det första har EU:s lagstiftning på djurskyddsområdet blivit alltmer harmoniserad de senaste åren. Det skulle kunna tala för ett mindre handlingsutrymme. För det andra förde Lissabonfördraget med sig en hänvisning till djurskydd i artikel 13 FEUF. Det skulle kunna tala för ett större handlingsutrymme. För det tredje antog EU nyligen tre nya upphandlingsdirektiv. Det skulle också kunna tala för ett större handlingsutrymme för upphandlande myndigheter.

Det konstateras inledningsvis att uttryckliga hänvisningar till ”svenska” djurskyddskrav inte skulle vara förenliga med EU-rätten. Sådana krav skulle strida mot reglerna om fri rörlighet och EU:s allmänna rättsprinciper (framförallt icke-diskrimineringsprincipen) och komma i konflikt med artikel 42(4) i det nya upphandlingsdirektivet, som föreskriver att upphandlande myndigheter inte får hänvisa till ett ”särskilt ursprung” i de tekniska specifikationerna. En sådan slutsats får också stöd av domarna i Skåne och Halland, där förvaltningsrätterna konstaterade att det inte är tillåtet att hänvisa till vissa bestämmelser i den svenska djurskyddslagen.

Vad beträffar krav som inte uttryckligen hänvisar till ”svenska” bestämmelser, argumenteras i uppsatsen för att det är nödvändigt att skilja mellan olika typer av djurskyddsregler. Det konstateras att specifika djurarter (såsom kor, grisar och fjäderfän) generellt omfattas av minimiharmoniserande direktiv som innehåller en fri rörlighetsklausul. Det innebär, mot bakgrund av EU-domstolens dom i CIWF, att medlemsstater har möjlighet att införa strängare krav gentemot sina egna producenter, men inte så att den fria rörligheten inom unionen försvåras. Vad beträffar andra typer av krav (såsom transport, slakt och antibiotika) konstateras att dessa områden generellt omfattas av förordningar. Det innebär, enligt unionens fasta rättspraxis, att medlemsstater är förhindrade att införa strängare krav såvida det inte uttryckligen anges i själva lagtexten. Sammantaget talar det för att utrymmet för strängare nationella regler på djurskyddsområdet är mycket litet. Mot bakgrund av EU-domstolens domar i Medipac och Kommissionen mot Grekland, argumenteras i uppsatsen för att samma regler ska gälla också på upphandlingsområdet.

Det konstateras avslutningsvis att varken införandet av artikel 13 FEUF eller de nya upphandlingsdirektiven torde kunna ’slå ut’ graden av EU-rättsharmonisering på djurskyddsområdet. Det betyder att dessa reformer inte kan förväntas ha någon större betydelse för upphandlande myndigheters handlingsutrymme, såsom situationen ser ut just nu. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Persson, Kristin LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGM01 20161
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU-law, European Union, Lisbon Treaty, Internal Market, Animal Welfare, Administrative Law, Public Procurement
language
English
id
8874763
date added to LUP
2016-06-21 12:35:23
date last changed
2016-06-21 12:35:23
@misc{8874763,
  abstract     = {On the basis of an article recently authored by the Swedish Minister for Public Administration, the main purpose of this thesis is to examine whether contracting authorities are allowed to refer to ‘Swedish’ standards of animal welfare (whether explicitly or not) when purchasing foodstuffs, without infringing the EU rules on free movement. In making this assessment, the thesis identifies three recent developments that could be expected to have an impact on the discretion of contracting authorities. First, EU secondary animal welfare legislation has become increasingly harmonised over the years. This could possibly point towards a lower margin of discretion. Second, the Lisbon Treaty introduced an article on animal welfare in Article 13 TFEU. This could instead point towards a wider margin of discretion. Third, the Union recently adopted a package of new Public Procurement Directives. This, too, could point towards a wider margin of discretion.

By way of introduction, the thesis points out that express references to ‘Swedish’ standards of animal welfare would not be in compliance with EU law. Such references would be contrary to the free movement provisions and the general principles of EU law (especially the principle of non-discrimination) and go against Article 42(4) of the new Public Sector Directive, which provides that Member States shall not refer to a “specific origin” when drafting the technical specifications. This conclusion gains support from the decisions in Skåne and Halland, where the Swedish courts found that references to the Swedish Animal Welfare Act were not allowed.

When it comes to less discriminatory requirements, the thesis argues that one has to make a distinction between different areas of animal welfare. As far as certain species of animals are concerned (calves, pigs, hens and so on), these are all governed by minimum harmonising directives containing a free movement clause. Based on the Court’s decision in CIWF, this means that Member States are allowed to impose more demanding national measures against their own producers, but not so as to impede the free movement of goods. As far as other types of requirements are concerned (transport, slaughter and antibiotics), these are instead governed by regulations. Generally speaking, this means that Member States are not allowed to impose any stricter requirements than those laid down in the regulation itself. All in all, this suggests that the scope for more demanding measures in the field of animal welfare remains very small. Based on the judgements in Medipac and Commission v Greece, the thesis argues that the same kind of reasoning should apply to contracting authorities as well. 

Finally, the thesis considers that neither the introduction of Article 13 TFEU, nor the adoption of the new Procurement Directives could be expected to ‘trump’ the greater harmonisation of EU secondary animal welfare legislation. This means that the impact of these changes on public purchasers’ discretion will remain rather limited as things stand today},
  author       = {Persson, Kristin},
  keyword      = {EU-law,European Union,Lisbon Treaty,Internal Market,Animal Welfare,Administrative Law,Public Procurement},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Animal Welfare, Public Procurement and the EU Internal Market - A Recurrent Dilemma in Swedish Policy Making?},
  year         = {2016},
}