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CJEU - C-398/13 P / Opinion

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Others v European Commission and Others

Policy area:
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Advocate General
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

  1. Was the EU legislature entitled to rely, in 2009, on Article 95 EC (now Article 114 TFEU) in order to impose an extensive ban on the placing on the market of seal products in the European internal market? This is in essence the question with which the Court must deal in the present appeal proceedings.
  2. There is no need to stress the high sensitivity of legal problems relating to the interpretation and application of Article 95 EC for the division of powers between the European Union and the Member States. Apart from the scope of this general power of harmonisation within the internal market, the present case also raises problems in relation to EU fundamental rights. Furthermore, it is necessary to consider what effects are to be attributed to a declaration by the United Nations General Assembly within the European Union.
  3. These questions are being taken to the European Union Courts for a second time by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, as the body representing the interests of the Canadian Inuit, and a number of other parties, mainly producers of or traders in seal products. After, in a direct action brought against the basic regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council, it was found that they did not have standing to institute proceedings, they are now challenging the European Commission implementing regulation and making an indirect challenge (pursuant to Article 277 TFEU) alleging that the basic regulation is unlawful.
  4. Once again the claim put forward by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and its co-appellants was unsuccessful at first instance. By judgment of 25 April 2013. the General Court of the European Union dismissed their action for annulment as unfounded. They are now challenging that judgment by way of the present appeal.

Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:

...I propose that the Court should:

  1. dismiss the appeal;
  2. order the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union to bear their own costs;
  3. order, for the remainder, the appellants jointly and severally to bear the costs of the proceedings.