Volume: 17 Issue: 4
The Belgian State brought an action for annulment against the European Commission’s Recommendation 2014/478/EU of 14 July 2014 on principles for the protection of consumers and players of online gambling services and for the prevention of minors from gambling online (‘Recommendation’); partly, Belgium’s argument was that the Recommendation was a “hidden directive” which attempted to harmonise national gambling law across the EU. The EU General Court, followed by the Court of Justice and Advocate General Bobek, considered whether an action for annulment can be brought against an EU act such as the Recommendation, which has no binding legal effects, at least in principle. Both Courts held the action to be inadmissible; however, AG Bobek disagreed in his Opinion on the case. Pieter Paepe, Attorney-at-Law at Astrea, reviews the cases and the findings by the Courts to hold the action as inadmissible, and explains why the relevance of these cases for EU and national gambling policies is limited.