Freedom of establishment at Spanish ports: Spain before the Court of Justice for the second time

In European Commission’s view, Spain has not adequately addressed the issues identified in the judgement of the Court of Justice of European Union of 11 December 2014 in case C-576/13. At the time, the Court had found that the obligations for cargo-handling companies in Spanish ports to register with a ‘pool company’ (Dockers’ Management Public Limited Liability Company), to hold shares in that company and to employ as a priority workers provided by that company, run counter to the freedom of establishment (Article 49 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).

As a result, the Commission has decided to refer Spain to the EU Court of Justice, inviting the State to rapidly undertake the necessary reforms, in order to avoid financial penalties which may be imposed by the Court.