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Annulment Eu Legal Acts

According to that interpretation, and taking into account that acts in accordance with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union are divided into legislative, delegated and implementing acts[13], acts should include delegated acts (Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) and implementing acts (Article 291 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), in so far as they are acts of general application. The third means of annulment is a breach of the contract or of a provision governing its application. This is the broadest ground for actions for nullity. It covers not only all the founding treaties and legal acts of the Community, but also some of the EU`s international agreements, as well as the general unwritten principles of law developed by the courts themselves (Türk 2009, 127-128), such as the principles of legal certainty and the protection of legitimate expectations. These principles are particularly relevant when the Community adopts rules concerning events that have occurred in the past. Retroactive rules are only permitted if the public interest carries more weight than the private interest in maintaining the status quo. The other three important principles are the principles of equality, proportionality and fundamental rights. In addition, in Case C-294/83, Greens v European Parliament, the Court of Justice further widened the range of verifiable acts by including acts adopted by the EP which produce legal effects vis-à-vis third parties. Since the original provision of the Treaty did not mention the EP as a potential defendant in invalidity proceedings (Arnull 2000, 182-183), ep legal acts were not considered to be the subject of invalidity proceedings. However, with the extension of the EP`s powers, this provision is increasingly being called into question. In this particular case, the French non-profit ecological organisation Les Verts, predecessor of the French party Les Verts, Confédération Écologiste – Parti Écologiste, which later became the Parti Europe Écologiste-Les Verts, had initiated a series of invalidity actions against various EU institutions for having allocated EU funds to the reimbursement of political information campaigns linked to the 1984 European elections. In particular, they argued that, by the way in which (in the present case) the EP Bureau allocated these funds, Parliament had improperly used its power to favour parties that had already been elected to the EP before the 1984 elections.

In the context of the present application for annulment of the manner in which those funds were allocated, the Court had to examine whether it had jurisdiction to review the lawfulness of the actions brought by the EP. It is interesting to note that at the oral stage of the procedure, the EP considered that its acts could not be the subject of annulment proceedings, at least as long as the Parliament itself did not have the right to challenge the acts of other institutions by means of a nullity procedure. This was an interesting proposal that could have helped Parliament either to dismiss the legal challenge in this case or at least to obtain the right to bring an action for nullity against other EU institutions themselves. Since the Advocate General and the Court of Justice did not follow this argument, this was only known when the EP was included in the list of potential defendants in invalidity disputes. With the Maastricht Treaty, Member States followed suit by formally extending the list of verifiable acts under Article 263 to acts of the EP, acts adopted jointly by the EP and the Council and acts of the ECB. An important change in primary law accompanied by the Treaty of Lisbon was an addition to Article 263(4) TFEU. In the present case, the Member States have expressly pointed out that acts which do not contain transposition measures would be verifiable with the invalidity procedure. This would remove the criterion of individual concern, which remains a significant obstacle for private litigants to EU acts being subject to effective review by the Court of Justice, at least as long as the regulatory acts do not involve other implementing measures. However, since the Treaty contained the definition of what a legal act and implementing measures specifically entail, it was and still is for the Court to provide more specific definitions (Craig, 2010). That is what the Court continues to do.

For example, in Inuit (C-583/11 P), the Court concluded that it considered regulatory acts to be acts of general application (such as directives and regulations) that had not been adopted under the ordinary or special legislative procedure (Peers and Costa, 2012). In the case of acts adopted in the context of those legislative procedures, the non-privileged actors should therefore still show direct and individual concern in order for the Court to be able to assess the merits of an action for annulment. Moreover, in subsequent judgments, the Court has confirmed a rather restrictive interpretation of the transposition measures and has sometimes even rejected the observations of the Advocate General concerned (e.g. T&L Sugars [C-456/13 P]). The peculiarity of actions for annulment is that they allow the actors to activate the Court directly. However, EU law does not grant that right to all types of actors to the same extent. Different types of actors enjoy different privileges to challenge the EU institutions directly before the CJEU. In fact, EU law distinguishes between so-called privileged applicants, semi-privileged applicants and non-privileged applicants, with privileged applicants being the main institutional actors, the group of semi-privileged applicants composed of the most peripheral institutional actors in the EU and the group of non-privileged applicants being essentially regional governments, interest groups, businesses and individuals.

Citizens. 3 After the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, actions for annulment of acts of the European Union are governed by Article 263 TFEU[i], Article 263 TFEU[i], Article 263 TFEU[ ex 230 EC[ii]. Among other changes relating to actions for annulment, the Treaty of Lisbon also revised the claim requirements for private claimants. According to the current wording of art. 263 para. 4 TFEU may bring an action `any natural or legal person against an act addressed to him or which is of direct and individual concern to him, as well as against an act of a regulatory nature which is of direct concern to him and does not entail implementing measures` (emphasis added). The novelty and relaxation of standing lies in the latter scenario – the removal of the requirement to prove “individual concern” when seeking the annulment of a regulatory act that does not contain implementing measures.

It should be noted that, at least to some extent, the differentiation of acts and legislative acts according to the procedure by which they were adopted is not fully in line with the previous case-law of the Court of Justice. In many cases, the Court has clarified that, in order to determine whether an act whose annulment is sought, its nature must in principle be regarded as irrelevant to the form in which it is committed[xii].