Language of document :

Judgment of the General Court of 10 January 2017 — Gascogne Sack Deutschland GmbH and Gascogne v European Union

(Case T-577/14) 1

(Non-contractual liability — Precision of the application — Prescription — Admissibility — Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights — Reasonable time for adjudication — Material damage — Losses sustained — Interest on the unpaid amount of the fine— Bank guarantee charges — Loss of opportunity — Non-material damage — Causal link)

Language of the case: French

Parties

Applicants: Gascogne Sack Deutschland GmbH (Wieda, Germany) and Gascogne (Saint-Paul-les-Dax, France) (represented by: F. Puel, E. Durand and L. Marchal, lawyers)

Defendant: European Union, represented by the Court of Justice of the European Union (represented by: initially A. Placco, and subsequently J. Inghelram and S. Chantre, Agents)

Intervener in support of the defendant: European Commission (represented by: N. Khan, V. Bottka and P. van Nuffel, Agents)

Subject matter

Application based on Article 268 TFEU and seeking compensation in respect of the harm allegedly suffered by the applicants by reason of the length of the proceedings before the General Court in the cases which gave rise to the judgments of 16 November 2011, Groupe Gascogne v Commission (T-72/06, not published, EU:T:2011:671), and Sachsa Verpackung v Commission (T-79/06, not published, EU:T:2011:674).

Operative part

The Court:

Orders the European Union, represented by the Court of Justice of the European Union, to pay damages of EUR 47 064.33 to Gascogne by way of compensation for the material damage sustained by that company as a result of the failure to adjudicate within a reasonable time in the cases which gave rise to the judgments of 16 November 2011, Groupe Gascogne v Commission (T-72/06, not published, EU:T:2011:671), and Sachsa Verpackung v Commission (T-79/06, not published, EU:T:2011:674). That compensation is to be reassessed by the application of compensatory interest as from 4 August 2014 up to the date of delivery of the present judgment, at the annual rate of inflation recorded, for the period at issue, by Eurostat (Statistical Office of the European Union) in the Member State in which that company is established;

Orders the European Union, represented by the Court of Justice of the European Union, to pay damages of EUR 5 000 to Gascogne Sack Deutschland GmbH and damages of EUR 5 000 to Gascogne by way of compensation for the non-material damage sustained by those companies respectively as a result of the failure to adjudicate within a reasonable time in Cases T-72/06 and T-79/06;

Orders that each award of compensation referred to in points (1) and (2) above be increased by default interest, as from the delivery of the present judgment up to the date of full payment, at the rate set by the European Central Bank (ECB) for its principal refinancing operations, increased by two percentage points;

Dismisses the action as to the remainder;

Orders the European Union, represented by the Court of Justice of the European Union, to pay, in addition to its own costs, the costs incurred by Gascogne Sack Deutschland and by Gascogne and the costs related to the inadmissibility claim which gave rise to the order of 2 February 2015, Gascogne Sack Deutschland and Gascogne v European Union (T-577/14, not published, EU:T:2015:80);

Orders Gascogne Sack Deutschland and Gascogne, on the one hand, and the European Union, represented by the Court of Justice of the European Union, on the other hand, to bear their own costs relating to the action giving rise to the present judgment;

Orders the European Commission to bear its own costs.

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1     OJ C 351, 6.10.2014, p. 19.