Rapid Intervention Mechanism
Council Regulation (EC) No 2679/98 [34 KB] on the functioning of the internal market in relation to the free movement of goods among the Member States establishes an information and monitoring mechanism as regards major obstacles to trade which inflict serious losses on individuals, such as the border blockades by farmers which were the subject of the judgment in Case C-265/95 , Commission v. France.
Regulation 2679/98 - eliminating obstacles to trade
Under the early warning mechanism Member States are required to notify to the Commission in advance major events such as demonstrations or road works concerning important routes, which could potentially impede trade. Additionally, economic actors can report risks or actual cases to the Commission. This information is then shared with all Member States.
Upon request of the Commission and in order to monitor the situation Member States have to send regularly updates on the situation in their territory and must give details about the steps taken to end the obstacle in due time. Thereby, the Regulation should make it possible to apply the principle of the free movement of goods quicker and more efficiently.
This intensified approach is also the subject of commitments laid down in the Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Members States [26 KB] , meeting within the Council of 7 December 1998, on the free movement of goods, which has been adopted alongside the Regulation.
Judgements of the Court of Justice
In a judgment of 15 November 2005 (C-320/03) , the Court of Justice stated that beginning a procedure under Regulation No 2679/98 is in no way a precondition which the Commission must satisfy before commencing the pre-litigation procedure under Article 226 EC, and that the regulation does not in any way restrict the Commission's powers under Article 226 EC.
In a preliminary ruling of 12 June 2003 (case C-112/00) , the Court of Justice examined the extent of a Member State's duty to keep major transit routes open in order to ensure free movement of goods within the Union, in particular whether it must prohibit if necessary for that purpose a political demonstration with environmental aims whose organisers assert their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly.