Language of document :

Notice for the OJ


Action brought on 27 July 2004 by the European Parliament against the Council of the European Union

(Case C-317/04)

An action against the Council of the European Union was brought before the Court of Justice of the European Communities on 27 July 2004 by the European Parliament, represented by R. Passos and N. Lorenz, acting as Agents, with an address for service in Luxembourg.

The European Parliament claims that the Court should:

-    annul Council Decision 2004/496/EC of 17 May 2004 1 ;

-     order the defendant to pay all of the costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments

The European Parliament puts forward five pleas in support of its action.

The first two pleas challenge the legal basis of the contested decision. First, the Parliament submits that recourse to Article 95 EC is not justified, having regard in particular to the Court's recent case-law on the interpretation of that provision; indeed, Article 95 cannot be the basis for Community power to conclude the agreement, since it relates to the processing of data excluded from the scope of Directive 95/46 on the protection of personal data. Secondly, the agreement entails amendment of that directive adopted under the procedure referred to in Article 251 EC, and could therefore be concluded only after the assent of the Parliament had been obtained.

In its third plea, the Parliament takes the view that the agreement infringes fundamental rights, in particular the right to protection of personal data with regard to essential aspects of that right, and that it also constitutes an unjustifiable interference with private life, which is incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

The fourth plea concerns infringement of the principle of proportionality, in particular on account of the fact that the agreement provides for the transfer of an excessive amount of passenger data and those data are stored by the American authorities for too long.

Finally, the Parliament also pleads the lack of a sufficient statement of reasons for a measure having such specific characteristics, and infringement of the principle of cooperation in good faith provided for in Article 10 EC, having regard to the very unusual circumstances surrounding the adoption of the contested decision, which took place during the procedure before the Court of Justice for request for opinion 1/04 on the aspects which clearly posed questions of a legal nature.


1 - Council Decision 2004/496/EC of 17 May 2004 on the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Community and the United States of America on the processing and transfer of PNR data by Air Carriers to the United States Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (OJ L 183 of 20.05.2004, p. 83)