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Lideika, Petrauskas, Valiûnas & Partners
The Minister of the Interior by his 17 September 2007 Order No 1V-324 approved the Regulations of the Lithuanian National Schengen Information System. The Lithuanian National Schengen Information System will start functioning after this Order comes into force. The System is connected to the Central Schengen Information System. This integrated system enables interconnection of all Member States of the Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement and grants to terminal users (police departments, embassies and consulates, migration institutions, etc.) online access to the information fed by other Member States which is necessary for the performance of their direct functions.
While resolving the issue of necessity to apply interim security measures, the court must assess the amount of the claim not as an absolute figure but taking into account the financial possibilities of a particular respondent. The Lithuanian Court of Appeals in its 6 September 2007 ruling in case No 2- 532/2007 AB Vakar¸ laiv¸ gamykla v UAB Mechanika has stated that there are grounds for applying interim security measures in cases where litigation is concerned with large sums of money. Such conclusion however is made considering whether the respondent is likely to avoid obeying the court decision and whether he will possess enough financial resources for this purpose. Thus, the court must consider whether the amount of the claim is large for a particular respondent.
On 17 September 2007, the Court of First Instance (CFI) delivered its judgment in Case T-201/04 Microsoft Corp. v Commission of the European Communities. CFI upheld the decision of the European Commission (Commission) finding Microsoft to abuse its dominant position.
On 23 March 2004, the Commission imposed a fine of EUR 497 million on Microsoft and ordered to cease illegal actions. In this case Microsoft was accused of having abused its dominant position and thus infringing Article 82 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community by engaging in two separate types of conduct (i.e. refusal to supply and tying).
Microsoft challenged the Commission’s decision recognising the refusal to provide interoperability data of work group server operating systems as amounting to the abuse of dominant position. Microsoft held that the disclosure of such data would enable competing work group server operating systems to function similarly to the Windows system and thus would allow its competitors to make unfair use of Microsoft products. Contrary to Microsoft claims, CFI concluded that the Commission aimed at facilitating Microsoft’s competitors to offer work group server operating systems differing from Microsoft’s on important parameters and upheld the part of the decision concerning interoperability.
CFI also observed that as a consequence of tying customers were unable to purchase the Windows operating system without acquiring Windows Media Player. According to CFI, neither the fact that Windows Media Player has no influence on the price of operating system, nor the fact that customers are free not to use that media player are relevant while adjudicating on this matter. Consequently CFI acknowledged that there was a significant risk that the tying would result in weakening of effective competition in the relevant market. CFI also held that Microsoft failed to demonstrate the existence of objective justification for the relevance of tying.
Finally, CFI concluded that the fine imposed by the Commission upon Microsoft was in compliance with Community law and therefore should not be altered.
More information on the case is available on the internet:
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do? reference=AGENDA/07/31&format=HTML& aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
In case of a dispute concerning unlawful issue of a construction permit, the validity of the latter may be terminated only by court decision. The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania in its 31 August 2007 ruling in administrative case No A16-727/2007 R.K. v Vilnius Region Municipality Administration overruled the order of Vilnius Region Municipality Administration which had cancelled the construction permit issued to the applicant. The court has stated that in case of a dispute concerning the lawfulness of issue of a construction permit, the issuing authority has no power to cancel the permit.
On 27 September 2007, two new Lithuanian Operational Programmes were launched. It is expected to receive up to EUR 5.7 billion under these validated programmes which will be supported from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund. The signed programmes (entitled Promotion of Cohesion and Economic Growth) are expected to improve Lithuanian infrastructure and raise the level of social and economic development in the period 2007– 2013.
The first (Promotion of Cohesion) programme is oriented towards improvement of standards of living in Lithuania from both economic and social points of view. This programme (amounting to EUR 2.6 billion) will strengthen local development, ensure high quality health care, education and social services to the public and improved energy efficiency.
Scientific research and experimental activities are aimed to be financed under the second (Economic Growth) programme which amounts to EUR 3.09 billion. With this programme it is expected to close the development gap between Lithuania and the EU average, to encourage productivity and to promote small and medium-size businesses. Relevant national authorities will start selecting projects that would be financed under these programmes in due course.
More information is available on the internet:
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do? reference=MEMO/07/386&format=HTML&aged =0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do? reference=MEMO/07/383&format=HTML&aged =0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en http://www.esparama.lt/lt/pasirengimas/
The Minister of Health by his 31 August 2007 Order No V-713 approved the Lithuanian Hygiene Norm HN 18:2007 ‘Places of public access to computer networks: health safety requirements’ which lays down basic requirements in terms of installation of places of public access to networks, hardware, and safety for computer users. This hygiene norm prescribes requirements with regard to premises, their illumination, heating and ventilation as well as a permitted level of noise.
If a contracting entity establishes high or too specific requirements, the latter can be justified only upon stating a convincing ground for establishment of such requirements. The Lithuanian Court of Appeals in its 10 September 2007 ruling in case No 2A- 389/2007 UAB Observis v Kaunas City Municipality Administration has stated that only those requirements should be considered as material that are designated to identify the candidates or participants who will be capable of performing a procurement agreement. The requirements must be justified and must not artificially restrict competition. If a contracting entity establishes high or two specific requirements, it has to submit reliable and convincing proof that such qualification criteria or their meaning are grounded, adequate for the purchase value, complexity and specifics of the object of purchase, necessary for ensuring successful implementation of the services procurement agreement, non-discriminatory in respect of suppliers and not restricting competition in artificial way.
The restitution of a particular land plot in kind or through repurchase is predetermined by a real and justified public need in respect of such land plot. The Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania in its 6 September 2007 ruling in administrative case No P14-274/07 V.V. v Vilnius County Governor’s Administration and Vilnius City Municipality Administration has stated that a detailed plan is among prerequisites for repurchasing the land; however the existence of a detailed plan does not preclude the restitution of land. Though land is ascribed for public needs in accordance with detailed plans, the restitution or repurchase thereof is predetermined by a real and justified public need in respect of a particular land.