The ECJ case-law on the annulment action: grounds, effects and illegality plea

Author:Augustin Fuerea
Position:Professor, PhD, Faculty of Law, 'Nicolae Titulescu' University of Bucharest (e-mail:
Augustin FUEREA*
For practitioners in the field, but also for academicians it is equally important to know that there exists,
under certain circumstances, the possibility of bringing an action for annulment, having as object the
legally binding EU acts. Al l questions concerning the action for annulment have their significance in
the theory and practice of the field, but a consistent case-law is offered by the grounds for a nnulment,
the plea of illegality and correlatively by the effects of the decision ruled within the action in for
annulment, and these are some issues to which we shall refer further.
Keywords: the ECJ case-law, annulment for action, grounds, effects, the plea of illegality.
1. General aspects
The European Union's status of special
subject of international la w is given, in
particular, by the atypical non-classic
institutional system, sp ecial and different
from the extremely known classic structure
of Montesquieu type and its own legal order,
by the legal system belonging to it, through
its features that se nd to immediate, direct
and imperative implementation of the r ules
of EU law. In the t hird place, especially in
the latter stage of European construction, we
notice a peculiar system of European
. All the three issues above
mentioned, taken as a whole, give a special
character (status) to the European Union, as
subject of international law. This special
status is given equally by similarities of t he
European Union both to states and
international organizations, and also by the
differences between the European Union
and states, respectively international
* Professor, PhD, Faculty of Law, “Nicolae Titulescu” University of Bucharest (e-mail:
Ion M. Anghel, Diplomaţia Uniunii Europene (şi regulile acesteia), Universul Juridic Publishing House,
Bucharest, 2015, p. 310.
organizations, in terms of their status as
subjects of international law.
It is relevant for our analysis, the
normative component which, at a closer
look, has the same atypical and non-classic
character, likely to confer, together with the
other t wo, a special status to the European
Union. Notable are the European Union’s
(ordinary and special) procedures for
adopting rules of law, in terms of drafting
(the initiative) and their adoption
(institutions directly involved send, as
bicameral rule, to the decision-making
triangle - Commission, Council, Parliament)
- and as an exception, we no te the special
procedures under which the executive, as an
institution that owns the lead in the ordinary
legislative pro cedure, is alternatively
replaced either by the Council or the
Parliament, in the special legislati ve
By symmetrically researching issues
related to the adoption of rules of EU la w,
the annulment of the same rules is
highlighting distinct features aimed at: acts

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