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Rewe-Zentral Aktiengesellschaft v. Bundesmonopolverwaltung fur Branntwein (Cassis de Dijon Case)

Court of Justice of the European Union
Case 120/78, 1979 E.C.R. 649


Cassis de Dijon was a liqueur produced in France with an alcohol content below 25 percent. The importer of the liqueur, Rewe-Zentral (Rewe) (plaintiff) was prohibited from selling it in Germany (defendant), because German law required all liqueurs to contain at least 25 percent alcohol. Rewe challenged Germany’s law on the theory that it violated Article 28 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which prohibits member countries of the European Union from restricting the free movement of goods. The German court referred the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union to decide whether the German minimum-alcohol-content law violated Article 28. Germany argued that the law protected public health, because it was easier to gain a tolerance to alcohol from drinks with less alcohol. Germany also argued that the law protected consumers, because it created a minimum standard consumers expected in liqueur products.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning

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