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Actions for Annulment and the Right to Effective Judicial Protection : the Criteria for Admissibility under Article 263(4) TFEU

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Title: Actions for Annulment and the Right to Effective Judicial Protection : the Criteria for Admissibility under Article 263(4) TFEU
Author(s): Holm, Malin
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law
Discipline: European law
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2014
The right of private applicants to bring actions for annulment in European Union courts is regulated by article 263(4) TFEU. According to the article, private parties may bring actions for annulment only in three situations. First, as stated in the first limb, they may institute proceedings against an act addressed to them. Second, the second limb enables instituting proceedings against an act, which is of direct and individual concern to them. The third limb and last possibility is to institute proceedings against a regulatory act, which is of direct concern to them and does not entail implementing measures. These limitations raise the question of whether the effective judicial protection is sufficiently ensured in the Union legal order. The principle of effective judicial protection is a general principle of Union law. It can be seen as one of the emanations of rule of law, which is a foundational value of the European Union. The principle is also laid down in article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is inspired by articles 6 and 13 of the European Convention of Human Rights. The judicial protection in the European Union rests on two pillars: the Union remedies and the remedies before national courts. Although the European Union offers a complete legal system of legal remedies and procedures, the effectiveness of the alternative remedies is not always adequate. The Court of Justice of the European Union has consequently interpreted especially the criterion of individual concern strictly. However, it has used a more generous approach in the fields of competition, state aid, and anti-dumping. It seems like the Court has been more willing to safeguard the effectiveness of European Union law than the effective judicial protection of individuals. If the Union legal system wishes to be a modern, value-driven legal system that is accountable for its substance, it should match its effectiveness understanding with a right to effective judicial protection.

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