European Union – Rules on competition. The Court of Justice of the European Union gave a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of arts 101, 107 and 119 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and art 158 of Council Directive (EC) 2006/112 (on the common system of value added tax). The request had been made in the course of criminal proceedings brought against the defendants for alleged offences in relation to value added tax and the questions included whether a national rule on limitation periods for criminal offences, which in effect resulted in accused persons enjoying de facto impunity, amounted to introducing a VAT exemption which was not laid down in art 158 of Directive 2006/112.