Centros and the Internal Market

Centros and the Internal Market

Anne-Lise Sibony

Series number :

Serial Number: 

Date posted :

August 07 2019

Last revised :

August 07 2019
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  • EU law • 
  • corporate mobility • 
  • Internal market • 
  • freedom of establishment • 
  • abuse of law • 
  • Centre of gravity • 
  • Genuine link • 
  • Allocation of regulatory powers

How special is Centros? This contribution places Centros in internal market law. It starts by
turning the judgment on its head and imagines an alternative Centros: the judgment that the
Danish authorities had wished for and which the Court declined to hand down. The aim of this

exercise in legal fiction is to show that the Court could have decided Centros in another way.
The choices underpinning Centros are then contrasted with other internal market cases to
conclude that both the real Centros and the alternative Centros are in some ways aligned with
the free movement case law. It is argued that Saydé’s analysis of abuse best helps to make sense
of this confusing state of play. The article ends with suggestions for further research: taking the
cost dimension into account in a behavioural perspective could shed light on the allocation of
regulatory powers between home state and host state.


Real name:
Anne-Lise Sibony
Université catholique de Louvain