It might prove easier to dissolve the Italian state than to convince Italy to uphold its Treaty obligations.
Paul Betts reported in the The Financial Times on 7 April: “It has long been suspected that some European Union countries apply the rules set in Brussels on something of a pick and chose basis … It takes a pretty special kind of government to advertise up front an intention to ignore a ruling from Brussels before it has actually happened.”
Italy’s communications minister, Paolo Romani – commenting on a dispute on whether Sky Italia – TV rival of Prime Minister Berlusconi’s Mediaset empire – might be permitted to bid for new Italian digital terrestrial frequencies – is reported to have said that any such decision by Brussels would simply be ignored by the Italian government.
The EU Treaty obliges member states to cooperate in its implementation.
Italy could be hauled before the Luxemboug based European Court of Justice and brought to heel for failure to fulfil its obligations.
Well, that’s the theory.
In a case before the ECJ Advocate General, Sharpston, 1 June 2006 lamented that Italy had sent the Court a “bundle of over 100 pages of assorted documents [with] no explanation of how those texts are relevant”.
She added that “It is usual in infringement actions for the Member State concerned to provide the Court with comprehensible information about its relevant law. In the present case, the situation in Italy was not entirely clear even after the hearing” … (my emphasis).
I will not be alone in thinking that Italy’s behaviour is tantamount to contempt of court.
There is a pre-Garibaldian slogan harping back to foreign domination “Francia o Spagna, basta che si magna!” (whether we are governed by Spain or France … who cares so long as we eat!)
Can anyone come up with something similar which rhymes with Brussels and Luxembourg?
A bottle of (Italian) bubbly for the winner.
Link to FT article Paul Betts; Rome TV shenanigans set Brussels a competition test: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/079813fa-41a3-11df-865a-00144feabdc0.html