European Union – Data protection. The Court of Justice of the European Union gave a preliminary ruling in which it decided that art 6(1)(e), art 12(b) and sub-paragraph (a) of the first paragraph of art 14 of Directive (EC) 95/46, read in conjunction with art 3 of First Council Directive (EEC) 68/151, had be interpreted as meaning that, as EU law currently stood, it was for the member states to determine whether the natural persons referred to in art 2(1)(d) and (j) of that directive could apply to the authority responsible for keeping the register to determine, on the basis of a case-by-case assessment, if it was exceptionally justified, on compelling legitimate grounds relating to their particular situation, to limit, on the expiry of a sufficiently long period after the dissolution of the company concerned, access to personal data relating to them, entered in that register, to third parties who could demonstrate a specific interest in consulting that data.