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Article 28 - Right of collective bargaining and action
Key facts of the case:
Appeal – Law governing the institutions – Social policy – Articles 154 and 155 TFEU – Social dialogue between management and labour at EU level – Informing and consulting civil servants and employees of central government administrations of the Member States – Agreement concluded between the social partners – Joint request of the signatories to that agreement seeking its implementation at EU level – Refusal of the European Commission to submit a proposal for a decision to the Council of the European Union – Standard of judicial review – Obligation to state reasons for the decision refusing to submit the proposal.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby:
67) Furthermore, the paramount importance in EU law of the right – enshrined in Article 28 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union – to negotiate and conclude collective agreements should be borne in mind (see, to that effect, judgment of 15 July 2010, Commission v Germany, C‑271/08, EU:C:2010:426, paragraph 37). In the present instance, that fundamental right was observed at the stage of negotiation by the social partners of the agreement at issue. Consequently, EPSU cannot argue that the interpretation of Article 155(2) TFEU adopted by the General Court, under which the Commission has a decision-making power at the stage of implementation of the agreement at issue if the social partners choose to submit to it a request that that agreement be implemented at EU level, infringes the social partners’ fundamental rights.
92) In addition, EPSU contends that the General Court committed an error of law, in paragraph 112 of the judgment under appeal, in ‘drawing parallels’ with the judgment of 23 April 2018, One of Us and Others v Commission (T‑561/14, EU:T:2018:210), delivered in relation to European citizens’ initiatives. In its submission, the procedure laid down in Articles 154 and 155 TFEU is not akin to the European citizens’ initiative procedure given that, first, the latter constitutes neither a process of collective bargaining nor the exercise of a fundamental right enshrined in Article 28 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and, second, the instigators of such a procedure do not participate in the drawing up of the text of the legislative proposal.