Order of the Court of 29 September 1995. - Empresa Nacional de Urânio SA v Commission of the European Communities. - Application for authorization to serve a garnishee order in respect of assets of the Community in Portugal. - Case C-2/94 SA.
European Court reports 1995 Page I-02767
1. Privileges and immunities of the European Communities ° Application for authorization to serve a garnishee order in respect of assets of an institution ° Lack of enforceable decision ° No need to give a decision
(Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities, Art. 1)
2. Procedure ° Costs ° Taxation ° Recoverable costs ° Fixing of default interest payable by reason of belated payment of costs ° Exclusive jurisdiction of the Court
(Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice, first para. of Article 74)
1. Consideration by the Court of an application for authorization to serve a garnishee order presupposes the existence of an enforceable decision in favour of the applicant. In the absence thereof, there is no need to give a decision on the application.
2. The finding of any obligation to pay default interest by reason of the belated payment of costs and the fixing of the applicable rate fall within the exclusive jurisdiction conferred on the Court of Justice by the first paragraph of Article 74 of its Rules of Procedure.
In Case C-2/94 SA,
Empresa Nacional de Urânio SA (ENU), a company governed by Portuguese law, established at Urgeiriça, commune of Nelas, represented by Professor João Mota de Campos and João Luis Mota de Campos, of the Lisbon Bar, 16-5 E Rua António Enes, 1000 Lisbon,
Commission of the European Communities, represented by António Caeiro and Juergen Grunwald, Legal Advisers, acting as Agents, with an address for service in Luxembourg at the office of Carlos Gómez de la Cruz, of its Legal Service, Wagner Centre, Kirchberg,
APPLICATION for authorization to serve a garnishee order in respect of assets of the Community in Portugal,
composed of: G.C. Rodríguez Iglesias, President, F.A. Schockweiler, P.J.G. Kapteyn, C. Gulmann and P. Jann (Presidents of Chambers), G.F. Mancini, C.N. Kakouris, J.C. Moitinho de Almeida, J.L. Murray, D.A.O. Edward (Rapporteur), J.-P. Puissochet, G. Hirsch and H. Ragnemalm, Judges,
Advocate General: A. La Pergola,
Registrar: R. Grass,
after hearing the Advocate General,
makes the following
1 By an application lodged at the Court Registry on 23 December 1994, the Empresa Nacional de Urânio ("ENU") applied, pursuant to Article 1 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities ("the Protocol"), for authorization to serve a garnishee order in respect of assets of the Commission of the European Communities for the sum owed by it to ENU as a result of an order of the Court of 15 March 1994 (C-107/91 DEP ENU v Commission, not published in the European Court Reports) on the taxation of costs following the judgment in Case C-107/91 ENU v Commission  ECR I-599.
2 By that judgment, the Court held, in an action under Article 148 of the Euratom Treaty, that the Commission had failed to give a decision on the request submitted to it by ENU pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 53 of the Euratom Treaty. The Commission was ordered to pay the costs.
3 The parties having been unable to agree on the recoverable costs, the Court, by the said order of 15 March 1994, fixed the total amount of the costs to be reimbursed by the Commission to ENU at ESC 6 000 000.
4 Since the Commission failed to pay, ENU brought the present application before the Court seeking authorization to assert its rights in respect of ESC 6 000 000, together with accrued interest and procedural costs, in order to initiate enforcement proceedings before its national courts, under Articles 155 and 164 of the Euratom Treaty.
5 It is not disputed that, after the lodging of the application in this case, the Commission paid to ENU the sum of ESC 6 000 000.
6 In a written reply to a question put by the Court, ENU has asserted its interest in maintaining its application as regards the default interest allegedly payable by reason of the belated payment by the Commission.
7 Authorization to serve a garnishee order presupposes the existence of an enforceable decision.
8 In the present case, there is no enforceable decision relating to the default interest allegedly payable to ENU by reason of belated payment by the Commission. The abovementioned order of 15 March 1994 on the taxation of costs does not refer to the question of any default interest payable for the period following delivery of that order.
9 According to ENU, it is for the national court, before which it intends to initiate enforcement proceedings, to find that there is an obligation to pay default interest and to fix the applicable rate.
10 That argument is incorrect. The finding of any obligation to pay default interest and the fixing of the applicable rate fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Justice under the first paragraph of Article 74 of its Rules of Procedure.
11 In those circumstances, there is no need to give a decision on this application.
12 In view of the special circumstances which have given rise to this dispute, it appears fair to decide that each party is to bear its own costs.
On those grounds,
1. There is no need to give a decision.
2. Each party shall bear its own costs.
Luxembourg, 29 September 1995.