Another judgment of the Court of Justice on Article 263 (4) TFEU and what is a “regulatory act not entailing implementing measures”. And again, the Court held on 28 April 2015 in Case C-456/13 P T & L Sugars v Commission that the measure challenged was not “regulatory act not entailing implementing measures”. Does that judgment end the hopes of those who wished for a broader interpretation of Article 263 (4) TFEU and for a loosening of the rules on standing ?
After all, AG Cruz Villalòn was sympathetic to the idea in his Opinion of 14 October 2014 that the measures challenged were indeed “regulatory acts not entailing implementing measures” and advised that the action should be declared admissible.
The Court, in its judgment of 28 April 2015 disagreed and relied on its judgment in Telefonica v Commission C-274/12 P, EU:C:2013:852 (which we noted up in our very first post).
The Court of Justice does not often reduce a fine imposed by the Commission on an undertaking for a breach of the competition rules when the amount of the fine has been upheld by the General Court. The judgment of 27 March 2014 in Case C-612/12 P Balast Nedam NV v Commission EU:C:2014:193 is, however, such a case. The Court of Justice reduced the fine on appeal not because the General Court had exercised its unlimited jurisdiction on fines improperly but because the General Court had failed to take sufficient account of a substantive problem with the Commission’s decision relating to the company’s rights of the defence.
Let us see in more detail.
Here we go again…. Two more judgments of the Court of Justice on the issue of standing and the “regulatory acts which do not entail implementing measures” business in Article 263 (4), third limb, TFEU. On this, se our previous posts here, here and here.
In its judgments of 27 February 2014 in Case C-132/12 P Stichting Woonpunt and others v Commission, unpublished, and Case C-133/12 P Stichting Woonlinie and others v Commission, unpublished, the Court of Justice did two things, one of which is really interesting.
- First, it held that even if the plaintiffs did not meet all the conditions required for their actions to be admissible under the amendment to Article 263 (4) TFEU made by the Lisbon Treaty which relaxed the conditions of admissibility of actions for annulment brought by natural and legal persons against acts of the EU institutions, the General Court made a mistake in law by failing to examine whether they did or not. And that is an interesting insight about how that new, relaxed rule on standing should be applied.
- Second – not so exciting – it held that the actions for annulment in these cases were admissible according to the traditional test of individual and direct concern in Plaumann.
Let’s see in more detail.