Key facts of the case:
Preliminary rulings – Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union – Articles 47 and 51(1) – Decision concerning common plans for development of territory – Absence of a link to EU law – Clear lack of jurisdiction of the Court.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Eighth Chamber) hereby orders:
The Court of Justice of the European Union clearly has no jurisdiction to answer the questions referred by the Varhoven administrativen sad (Bulgaria), by decision of 14 June 2010.
1) This reference for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation of Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’).
3) The declaration concerning the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, annexed to the final act of the intergovernmental conference which adopted the Treaty of Lisbon, signed on 13 December 2007 (OJ 2010 C 83, p. 335), reads as follows:
‘The Charter …, which has legally binding force, confirms the fundamental rights guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States.
The Charter does not extend the field of application of Union law beyond the powers of the Union or establish any new power or task for the Union, or modify powers and tasks as defined by the Treaties.’
8) The applicants in the main proceedings challenged that order before the same court sitting in a five-member formation, which is uncertain whether the non‑recognition, under national law, of a right to challenge a decision relating to the general plan for development of the capital is incompatible with the right established in Article 47 of the Charter.
9) In those circumstances, the Varhoven administrativen sad decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the following questions to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling:
‘1. Is it possible to exclude administrative acts adversely affecting the rights and freedoms guaranteed by European Union law from the judicial review provided for in Article 47 of the Charter ...?
2. If this possibility is admissible, do criteria exist for determining the types of administrative act in accordance with Article 47 of the Charter … with regard to which it is possible to exclude judicial review, and what are those criteria?
3. Is it possible to exclude judicial review as regards general plans for development adversely affecting the right to property?’
12) However, as regards the present case, it must be borne in mind that, under Article 51(1) of the Charter, its provisions are addressed ‘to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law’ and that, under Article 6(1) TEU, which gives the Charter binding force, and as is apparent from the declaration on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, annexed to the final act of the intergovernmental conference which adopted the Treaty of Lisbon, the Charter does not establish any new power for the Union or modify its powers.