The General Court of the EU, by its judgment published on 22 April 2015, upheld the action for annulment submitted by the company Planet AE against the European Commission. The defense of these two cases was entrusted to Christianos and Partners Law Firm.
More specifically, in case T-320/09 the company requested the General Court, to annul the decisions of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) requesting the applicant’s registration in the early warning system (‘EWS’).
In support of the action for annulment, the applicant put forward two pleas in law, the first alleging, in essence, infringement of essential procedural requirements of Decision 2008/969 and the second alleging infringement of basic principles and fundamental rights of EU law, in particular of the principle of sound administration, the right to be heard, the rights of the defence and the duty to state reasons.
On the admissibility, the General Court held that there is an interest in the proceedings by the applicant although the entry of the applicant in the EWS was deleted in the meanwhile.
On the merits, the General Court examined of its own motion the competence on the part of the Commission to adopt the contested measure and held that the contested measures were devoid of legal basis and that the Commission did not have the competence to adopt the decision on the EWS. More specifically, it was held that it does not follow either from the provisions of Article 274 EC or those of the Financial Regulation that the Commission has the express power to adopt such a decision. Moreover, the General Court, upheld also the second plea of annulment relating to the failure to state reasons and infringement of the rights of the defence of the applicant.
On those grounds, the General Court held that the contested acts must be annulled. It should be observed that, following the said judgment, the Commission must fill any legal vacuum created by the annulment of the acts.