Key facts of the case:
Reference for a preliminary ruling — Urgent preliminary ruling procedure — Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters — Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Articles 50 and 52 — Ne bis in idem principle — Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement — Article 54 — Penalty which ‘has been enforced’ or which is ‘actually in the process of being enforced’
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
86. Since these proceedings are, for the parties to the main proceedings, a step in the action pending before the national court, the decision on costs is a matter for that court. Costs incurred in submitting observations to the Court, other than the costs of those parties, are not recoverable.
On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby rules:
- Article 54 of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders, signed on 19 June 1990 and entered into force on 26 March 1995, which makes the application of the ne bis in idem principle subject to the condition that, upon conviction and sentencing, the penalty imposed ‘has been enforced’ or is ‘actually in the process of being enforced’, is compatible with Article 50 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in which that principle is enshrined.
- Article 54 of that convention must be interpreted as meaning that the mere payment of a fine by a person sentenced by the self-same decision of a court of another Member State to a custodial sentence that has not been served is not sufficient to consider that the penalty ‘has been enforced’ or is ‘actually in the process of being enforced’ within the meaning of that provision.