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Legal Order in Eu

Parliament`s powers of scrutiny have since been strengthened. It is now also empowered to set up special committees of inquiry specifically responsible for alleged breaches of Union law or maladministration. Such a committee was set up in June 2016 in response to the Panama Papers revelations about offshore companies and their secret owners. Its task is to investigate possible infringements of Union law relating to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. The Treaties also enshrine the right of any natural or legal person to submit petitions to Parliament, which are then dealt with by a Standing Committee on Petitions. Finally, Parliament has also exercised its power to appoint an Ombudsman to whom complaints of maladministration in the activities of the institutions or bodies of the Union, with the exception of the CJEU, can be forwarded. The Ombudsman may conduct inquiries, inform the institution or body concerned of such measures and report to Parliament on the results of his inquiries. The EU`s legal bases are the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which were adopted unanimously by the governments of the 27 Member States. New members can join if they agree to abide by the rules of the organization, and existing members can leave in accordance with their “own constitutional provisions.” [6] Citizens have the right to participate in the drafting of EU legislation through the Parliament and their national governments. The Commission has the legislative initiative, the Council of the European Union represents the governments of the Member States, Parliament is elected by European citizens, while the Court of Justice is supposed to uphold the rule of law and human rights.

[7] As the Court stated, the EU is “not only an economic union”, but must “ensure social progress and work for the continuous improvement of the living and working conditions of its peoples”. [8] In addition, there are various forms of action, such as recommendations, communications and acts relating to the organisation and functioning of the institutions (including interinstitutional agreements), the name, structure and legal effects of which result from various provisions of the Treaties or rules adopted pursuant to them. In addition to preliminary rulings on the correct interpretation of EU law, an essential task of the Court of Justice is judicial review of acts of the Union itself. Article 263(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) allows the Court of Justice to review the legality of a Union legislator or of any other `act` in the light of the Treaties or general principles such as the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. These include laws and most other laws that have legal consequences for individuals. For example, in Société anonyme Cimenteries CBR Cementsbedrijven NV v Commission[154], the Commission decided to withdraw assurances from a Dutch cement plant that it would be exempted from competition fines for vertical agreements. The cement plant challenged the decision and the Commission argued that it was not really an “act” and therefore could not be challenged. The Court held that an appeal was possible and that it was an act because it “deprived [the cement company] of the advantages of a legal position”. and exposed them to serious financial risks.” [155] Similarly, in the Deutsche Post v Commission case, the Commission requested, within 20 days, information on the state aid granted by Germany to Deutsche Post. When both questioned this, the Commission argued that the request for information could not be an act since there was no sanction.

The Court disagreed and ruled that judicial review could continue because the application had “binding legal effects”, since the information submitted could be used as evidence in a final decision. [156] In IBM/Commission,[157] the Court held that a letter from the Commission to IBM informing it that it would be suing IBM for abuse of an anti-competitive dominant position was not a verifiable act, but merely an interim statement of intent. In any event, an act open to challenge by an EU institution shall be annulled under Article 264 if it is incompatible with the law. In many cases, the Treaties determine the type of acts to be adopted. In many other cases, however, no type of legal act is indicated. In such cases, Article 296(1) TFEU provides that the institutions are to select them on a case-by-case basis `in accordance with the applicable procedures and the principle of proportionality`. It was only a year later that the case of Costa v. ENEL gave the Court the opportunity to clarify its position. The facts of the case were as follows.

In 1962, Italy nationalized the production and distribution of electricity and transferred the assets of the electricity companies to the national electricity authority ENEL. As a shareholder in Edison Volta, one of the nationalised companies, Mr Costa considered that he had been deprived of his dividend and therefore refused to pay an electricity bill of ITL 1 926. In proceedings before the Milan Court of Arbitration, Mr Costa claimed, inter alia, that the act of nationalisation infringed several provisions of the EEC Treaty in order to justify his conduct. In order to assess Mr. In Costa in its defence, the Court of First Instance asked the Court of Justice to interpret various aspects of the EEC Treaty. In its judgment, the CJEU stated the following on the legal nature of the EEC: following the failure of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe of 29 October 2004, the “Constitution” of the EU is still not enshrined in a complete constitutional document, as is the case in most of the constitutions of its Member States. but results from the set of rules and core values to which those responsible feel bound.