Language of document :

Action brought on 3 November 2016 — Hungary v Commission

(Case T-50/16)

Language of the case: Hungarian


Applicant: Hungary (represented by: M. Fehér and G. Koós, acting as Agents)

Defendant: European Commission

Form of order sought

The applicant claims that the General Court should:

annul the decision of the European Commission, adopted on 24 November 2015, to register the European citizens’ initiative entitled ‘Wake Up Europe! Agir pour préserver le projet démocratique européen’;

order the Commission to pay the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

In support of the action, the applicant relies on three pleas in law.

By its first plea in law, the applicant submits, that, by registering the citizens’ initiative in question, the Commission infringed Article 11(4) TEU, and Articles 2(1) and Article 4[(2)](b) of Regulation No 211/2011 1 too because, according to the applicant, the initiation of the procedure provided for under Article 7 TEU (similar to infringement proceedings) cannot be regarded as a legal act of the Union required for the purpose of implementing the treaties. In addition, according to the applicant, the aim of a citizens’ initiative must be the initiation, by the Commission, of a legal act of the Union which materialises in new legislation incorporated in EU law.

By its second plea in law, the applicant submits that, by its decision, the Commission infringed the right to sound administration, and the principles of legal certainty and equal treatment as well, and failed to fulfil its duty to state reasons. By that plea in law, the applicant submits, in essence, that given that the Commission, by that decision, departed radically from its previous practice in relation to the registration of citizens’ initiatives, earlier initiatives and those that may be presented in the future will not, as a result of that contradiction and lack of foreseeability, be afforded the same treatment.

By its third plea in law, the applicant submits that the Commission’s decision infringed the principle of sincere cooperation laid down in Article 4(3) TEU. On the one hand, the Commission had previously indicated that the conditions for initiating a procedure against Hungary under Article 7 TEU had not been met, wherefore the decision registering the citizens’ initiative could let it be thought that the Commission does not find it inconceivable that the initiative in question may be well founded. On the other, the Commission, in accordance with that principle, ought to have informed Hungary of the existence of the citizens’ initiative, which concerns it directly, and given it an opportunity of submitting its observations.


1 Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 on the citizens’ initiative (Corrigendum in OJ 2014 L 235, p. 19).