23 Nov Ms Meaning Eu Law
However, only a limited number of people can apply for judicial review. Under Article 263(2) TFEU, a Member State, a Parliament, a Council or a Commission automatically has the right to seek judicial redress. However, Article 263(4) provides that a `natural or legal person` must have a `direct and individual interest` in the regulatory act. An “immediate” concern means that a person is affected by an EU act without “autonomous will between the decision and its effects”, for example by a national government body.  In Piraiki-Patraiki v Commission, a group of Greek textile companies exporting cotton products to France challenged a Commission decision authorising the France to restrict its exports. The Commission argued that exporters were not directly concerned since the France could decide not to restrict exports, but the Court considered that this possibility was “fully theoretical”.  A challenge could be raised. On the other hand, in Differdange v Commission, one municipality sought to challenge the Commission`s decision to support steel companies that were reducing their production, which would probably reduce their tax revenue. However, the Court found that the municipality had no “direct” interest (its complaint was rather addressed to the Luxembourg Government) since Luxembourg had a margin of appreciation and its decision to reduce capacity was not inevitable.
“Individual” concern requires someone to be specifically affected, not as a member of a group. In Plaumann & Co v Commission, the Court held that an importer of clementine was not individually concerned when the Commission refused to authorise Germany to cease its import duties. This made it more expensive for Mr. Plaumann to import clementines, but it was just as expensive for everyone else. This decision significantly limited the number of people who could apply for judicial review. In Unión de Pequeños Agricultores, Advocate General Jacobs proposes a broader examination in which any person may make an application if there is “significant prejudice” to the applicant`s interests.  In this case, a group of Spanish olive oil producers challenged Council Regulation 1638/98, which removed subsidies. Since the regulations are not transposed into national law but have direct effect, they argue that the requirement of individual concern deprives them of effective judicial protection.
The Court ruled that direct actions were still not admissible: if this was not satisfactory, the Member States would have to amend the Treaties.  However, Article 263(4) provides that there is no need to be of individual concern if an act is not a legal provision but only a `regulatory act`. In Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami v Parliament and Council, the Court confirmed that a regulation cannot be classified as a `regulatory act` within the meaning of the Treaty: it covers only acts of minor importance. Here, a Canadian group representing the Inuit people wanted to challenge a regulation on seal products, but was not allowed. As usual, they should show both direct and individual sympathy.  Thus, without treaty change, EU administrative law remains one of the most restrictive in Europe.  Of course, neither the EU economy nor the eurozone are perfect, and the new rules have not magically solved all their problems. But over time, EU leaders and institutions realized that they could not rely solely on trust and outdated laws to keep the economy and the single currency moving – they needed a new impetus to hold all countries accountable for their actions.
The European Semester is a small cornerstone in the euro area`s efforts to stabilise the currency. The EU`s post-pandemic reconstruction fund goes even further by allocating adequate resources to a reform monitoring system. Countries must explain every six months how they will use the recovery funds to achieve the targets and milestones set by the Commission. They must also prove that the money has been properly audited and that they have carried out all the necessary reforms for the money to have a significant impact on society and the economy. Unlike previous funds, if a country fails this test, the Commission and the Council of Ministers can suspend payments until the offending Member State complies with the rules. Finally, there are other powers to take action that are essential for the effective and meaningful implementation of powers already expressly granted (implied powers). These powers have acquired particular importance for the conduct of external relations. They allow the EU to assume commitments vis-à-vis third countries or other international organisations in the areas covered by the EU`s list of tasks.
A striking example is the Kramer case decided by the Court of Justice. This case concerned the EU`s ability to cooperate with international organisations to set fishing quotas and, where appropriate, to assume international obligations. In the absence of a specific provision in the EU Treaty, the Court derived the necessary external competence of the Union from its internal competence in fisheries policy in the context of the common agricultural policy. Parliamentary elections are held every five years and elections of MEPs in the Member States must be held by proportional representation or a single transferable vote.  There are 750 MEPs whose number is “degressively proportional” according to the size of the Member States.  This means that, although the Council is supposed to be the institution representing the Member States, the citizens of the smaller Member States have a greater say in the Parliament than the citizens of the larger Member States.  As in national parliaments, MEPs are divided along political lines: the conservative European People`s Party is currently the largest and the Party of European Socialists leads the opposition.