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Cassis de Dijon

This French blackcurrant-based drink was at the heart of one of the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) most celebrated decisions. In 1979, Rewe-Zentral AG, one of Germany’s biggest food and drinks retailers, complained to the ECJ that the German authorities were making it difficult for the company to import and sell Cassis de Dijon. The Court ruled in the firm’s favour and declared that under European law, if a company is allowed to make a product freely available for sale in one European Union country, then it must be allowed to do so in all member states. As Cassis de Dijon was obviously already freely available in France, the Court argued that all other European citizens also had the right to buy and drink it. The ruling allowed the Community to develop the all-important principle of mutual recognition- which in turn paved the way for the launch of the single market in 1993.