Key facts of the case:
Appeal — Application for interim measures — Competition — European market for power cables — Decision of the European Commission finding an infringement of Article 101 TFEU — Publication — Partial rejection of the request for confidential treatment of certain information appearing in the decision — Suspension of operation of a measure — Connection between the condition of a prima facie case and that of urgency.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Vice-President of the Court hereby orders:
6) In the course of examining the third cause of harm, the President of the General Court, in paragraphs 69 to 78 of the order under appeal, analysed the appellants’ argument that, in order to respect their right to an effective remedy, it was necessary to order the suspension of the operation of the decision at issue until the lawfulness of the seizure of the information at issue had been verified. Next, and for the sake of completeness, he also considered, in paragraphs 79 to 81 of that order, as follows:
‘79 In any event, it must be noted that, according to the settled case-law of the Court of Justice, the argument that harm is, by definition, serious and irreparable because it comes within the scope of fundamental freedoms cannot be accepted since it is not sufficient to allege infringement of fundamental rights in the abstract for the purpose of establishing that the harm which could result would necessarily be serious and irreparable. That case-law is not called into question by the enhanced protection of fundamental rights brought about by the Treaty of Lisbon, since those rights, in particular the right to an effective remedy relied on in the present case, already enjoyed protection under EU law before that treaty entered into force (see, to that effect, order [of the Vice-President of the Court] of 10 September 2013, Commission v Pilkington Group, C‑278/13 P(R), EU:C:2013:558, paragraph 40).
80 It is true that breach of certain fundamental rights, such as the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment enshrined in Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, may, on account of the very nature of the right violated, in itself give rise to serious and irreparable harm. However, the fact remains that [...] it remains for the party seeking interim measures to set out and establish the likelihood of such harm occurring in his particular case (order [of the vice-President of the Court] of 10 September 2013, Commission v Pilkington Group, C‑278/13 P(R), EU:C:2013:558, paragraph 41).
81 In the present case, however, the applicants have not established that the harm that they would specifically suffer as a result of the alleged infringement of their right to an effective remedy would be separate from the harm of being exposed to damage to their reputation and to actions for damages, the examination of which led to the conclusion set out in paragraphs 62 and 67 above that the applicants had failed to establish that the harm which they allege is serious in nature.’