Limited authorisations between EU and domestic law: Comparative remarks from Dutch law

Johan Wolswinkel, Frank van Ommeren, Willemien den Ouden

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Where the number of authorizations available for grant is limited in advance to a maximum number, public authorities have to make a choice between qualified applicants through a selection procedure. EU law has played a major role in developing legal rules on the issuing of these limited authorizations, through, amongst other methods, the development of the obligation of transparency. However, the allocation regime under EU law, in particular as it arises from the internal market freedoms, has some inherent restrictions, only applying to economic activities and sometimes requiring cross-border interest in addition. Thus, in order to develop a general legal regime that applies to any process for the issuing of limited authorizations, the development of an allocation regime rooted in domestic law is necessary. This article discusses recent developments in Dutch case law, where a domestic allocation regime has been derived from the (national) principle of equal treatment. It endorses the adoption of this principle as the central basis for an allocation regime, rooted either in domestic or in EU law, since this principle does not only include the key issues inherent to an allocation context, but allows for the development of allocation rules at the level of both individual decision-making and general rule-making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-586
Number of pages28
JournalEuropean Public Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Limited authorisations
  • Legal comparison
  • Equal treatment
  • Transparency
  • EU internal marktet law


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