CJEU – Judgment of 24.06.2014 (Grand Chamber) – Case C-658/11 European Parliament v Council – «External relations of the EU – Annulment of the decision on the conclusion of the EU – Mauritius Agreement – Choice of the proper legal basis». Context or Content? A CFSP or AFSJ Legal Basis for EU International Agreements

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In the case C-658/11 European Parliament v Council the CJEU was asked to assess the legitimacy of Council Decision 2011/640/CFSP on the conclusion of the agreement between the EU and Mauritius for the transfer and trial of suspected pirates arrested in the framework of Operation Atalanta. More specifically, whilst the EP agreed with the Council that the said agreement had to be concluded on the basis of Article 37 TEU, it nonetheless sustained that the agreement could not be concluded on the basis of Article 37 TEU alone since the agreement is not exclusively linked to the CFSP but is also linked to other policies of the EU that are based on the TFEU. Moreover, the EP also attached the decision of the Council because the latter institution failed to keep informed the EP at all stages of the procedure leading to the conclusion of the agreement. With its judgement of the 24 June 2014, the CJEU rejected the thesis of the EP. By making reference to its ‘centre of gravity’ test the CJEU decided to focus on the context of Operation Atalanta in which the agreement was concluded and held such link sufficient to exclude the necessity to make recourse to other, incidental, aims of an agreement to integrate the choice of the correct legal basis. On the other hand, the CJEU found that the Council had violated the right of the EP to be kept informed, at all stages, about the negotiations and conclusion of agreements and annulled the contested act. With this judgement the CJEU has contributed in making clear that the respect of procedural requirements between the Council and the EP is important even when the role of the EP is merely passive. At the same time, whilst the case brought by the EP could have been used to clarify the relationship between external action under the CFEP and other instruments of external relations based on the TFEU, the CJEU missed on this opportunity and solved the case formalistically.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1064
JournalRevista de Derecho Comunitario Europeo
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-314008
  • IR-98851

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