EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 61995CJ0392

Sommarju tas-sentenza

Sentenza tal-Qorti tal-Ġustizzja ta' l-10 ta' Ġunju 1997.
il-Parlament Ewropew vs il-Kunsill ta' l-Unjoni Ewropea.
Kawża C-392/95.

Keywords
Summary

Keywords

1 Acts of the institutions - Procedure by which they are drawn up - Due consultation of the Parliament - Essential procedural requirement - Fresh consultation in the event of a substantial amendment made to the initial proposal - Wishes of the Parliament clearly known - Not relevant

2 Approximation of laws - Uniform laws - Visa requirement for nationals of third countries - Regulation No 2317/95 - Substantial differences in relation to the Commission's initial proposal - No fresh consultation of the Parliament - Infringement of essential procedural requirements - Illegality

(EEC Treaty, Art. 100c; Council Regulation No 2317/95)

3 Actions for annulment - Judgment annulling a measure - Effects - Limitation by the Court - Regulation - Council's duty to put an end within a reasonable period to the substantial irregularity which led to the annulment

(EC Treaty, Art. 173 and Art. 174, second para.)

Summary

4 Due consultation of the Parliament in the cases provided for by the Treaty constitutes an essential formal requirement breach of which renders the measure concerned void. Effective participation of the Parliament in the legislative process of the Community, in accordance with the procedures laid down by the Treaty, represents an essential factor in the institutional balance intended by the Treaty. This function reflects the fundamental democratic principle that the people should take part in the exercise of power through the intermediary of a representative assembly.

The requirement to consult the European Parliament in the legislative procedure, in the cases provided for by the Treaty, means that it must be freshly consulted whenever the text finally adopted, taken as a whole, differs in essence from the text on which the Parliament has already been consulted, except in cases in which the amendments substantially correspond to the wishes of the Parliament itself.

It is not possible for the institution which adopts the final text to dispense with that requirement on the ground that it is quite aware of the wishes of the Parliament on the essential points in question because that would result in seriously undermining the effective role played by the Parliament in the legislative process of the Community, which is essential to the maintenance of the institutional balance intended by the Treaty and would amount to disregarding the influence that due consultation of the Parliament can have on adoption of the measure in question.

5 A comparison of the Commission proposal from which Regulation No 2317/95 originated and the terms of that regulation, as adopted by the Council, shows that, as regards the determination of third countries whose nationals must be in possession of a visa when crossing the external borders of the Member States and the establishment of a common list for this purpose, the Commission's proposal envisaged, after 30 June 1996, only a list specifically designating the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of a visa, whereas the regulation authorizes the Member States to maintain, for an indefinite period, their list of third countries not appearing on the common list whose nationals are subject to that obligation.

Such an amendment is by nature substantial. Since it affected the whole of the planned arrangements, it necessitated, in the case of a legislative procedure governed by Article 100c of the Treaty, fresh consultation of the Parliament. The fact that the Parliament was not consulted again constitutes an infringement of essential procedural requirements which must entail annulment of Regulation No 2317/95.

6 The need to prevent annulment, for breach of the obligation to undertake due consultation of the Parliament, of Regulation No 2317/95 determining the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders of the Member States from creating any discontinuity in the harmonization of national rules on visas and weighty reasons of legal certainty provide justification for the Court to exercise the power expressly conferred on it by the second paragraph of Article 174 of the Treaty in the event of annulment of a regulation and to maintain provisionally the effects of the annulled regulation until a new regulation has been adopted by the Council, which is under a duty, however, to put an end within a reasonable period to the infringement committed.

Top