Key facts of the case:
Appeal — Own resources of the European Union — Financial liability of the Member States — Request to be released from the obligation to make own resources available — Action for annulment — Admissibility — Letter from the European Commission – Concept of ‘actionable measure’ — Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Effective judicial protection — Action alleging unjust enrichment on the part of the European Union.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby:
29) In support of its appeal, the Czech Republic puts forward a single ground of appeal, alleging infringement of Article 263 TFEU, read in conjunction with Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’).
51) In those paragraphs of the order under appeal, the General Court rejected the arguments put to it by the Czech Republic in relation to the latter’s right to effective judicial protection. First, in paragraph 81 of that order it recalled, in essence, that the interpretation, in the light of Article 47 of the Charter, of the requirement that the contested act should produce binding legal effects cannot lead to a situation where that requirement is disregarded. Second, in paragraphs 82 to 86 of that order, the General Court indicated that it was open to the Czech Republic either not to act on the letter at issue, pending the possible initiation by the Commission of infringement proceedings, or to make the amount at issue available while expressing reservations as to the validity of the Commission’s position.
52) In that regard it must be noted, in the first place, that the General Court correctly recalled in paragraph 81 of the order under appeal that, according to the Explanations relating to the Charter (OJ 2007 C 303, p. 2) and the settled case-law of the Court of Justice, although the requirement as to binding legal effects must be interpreted in the light of the right to effective judicial protection as guaranteed in the first paragraph of Article 47 of the Charter, that right is not intended to change the system of judicial review laid down by the Treaties, and particularly the rules relating to the admissibility of direct actions brought before the Courts of the European Union. Thus, the interpretation of the concept of ‘actionable measure’ in the light of Article 47 of the Charter cannot lead to a situation where that requirement is disregarded on pain of exceeding the jurisdiction conferred by the FEU Treaty on the Courts of the European Union (see, to that effect, judgment of 25 October 2017, Slovakia v Commission, C‑593/15 P and C‑594/15 P, EU:C:2017:800, paragraph 66 and the case-law cited).