Language waivers

Language waivers

Language waivers

In a given case, there may be a number of authentic languages. For instance, in a cartel case that includes undertakings from 8 Member States, there may be 8 authentic languages. This will lead to a heavy work for translation in all these languages (and will generate delay).

More about Language waivers

Even in cases involving fewer (or even one) authentic language, this may generate delay (due to translation from the working language into which the text has been drafted to the authentic language).

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In might also be that for the parties another language than the authentic language is more convenient (e.g. the common language used in the communication between the mother and the daughter companies, or the mandated law-firm, in agreement with the company, prefers another language than the authentic language).

Other Considerations

In order to avoid or limit these constraints, it is possible to ask the parties, if they do not ask for it themselves, to waive their right to receive the text in the relevant language of their home Member State and to opt for another language among the official language of the EU. In order to avoid any risk as to the validity of the decision, the so-called language waiver must be crystal clear.


To ensure that the Secretariat General recognizes easily the validity of the language waiver, it is recommended to propose to the parties a standard text: “We, company [NAME OF FUTURE ADDRESSEE OF THE DECISION] legally represented by [NAME OF THE EMPLOYEE OF THE COMPANY SIGNING THE LANGUAGE WAIVER], hereby declare that in the context of Case [XXXXX] – [CASE NAME] the European Commission may address any documents, [e.g. Statement of Objections/Preliminary Assessment/Letter rejecting a complaint ….]] or any Decisions it may take and notify to us pursuant to Article 297 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in [e.g. English], and we waive all rights to receive such documents in our own language.”


This “language waiver” should be signed by a representative, authorised to make such declarations, of every legal entity to which the SO or decision is addressed (regardless of the fact that two or more companies/legal entities belong to the same group) and should be drafted on the letter-head of the undertaking/addressee.


The lawyer acting for the undertaking/addressee may sign the language waiver only if he is properly authorised to receive all communication on behalf of the addressee (so-called “power of attorney”). As regards undertakings based outside the EEA, a formal language waiver is not required, but the language regime to be used should be clarified with the undertaking as early as possible.


See Also


  • Information about Language waivers in the Antitrust Manual of Procedures for the application of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (Internal DG Competition)

Further Reading

  • Information about Language waivers in EU Competition Procedure, 3rd. Edition, Edited by Luis Ortiz Blanco (Oxford University Press)

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