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November 27, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

West Germany, Italy and Belgium are now backing France in its suit in the European Court of Justice over the invoking by the Commission of Article 90 of the Treaty of Rome to mandate the ending of national monopolies in supply of consumer telecommunications equipment by 1991. Although some of the parties may have ulterior motives, the issue is not the substance of the directive but the fact that it sets a dangerous precedent for fiat by Brussels since it enables the Commission to bypass national governments that in general have to enact their own laws to implement Community decisions. Article 90 of the Treaty of Rome allows the Commission to make unilateral rulings where national monopolies are involved. The UK is understood to be as opposed to the use of Article 90 as is France, but regards the French action in the European Court as a lost cause.

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