Appeal brought on 13 September 2018 by the Czech Republic against the order of the General Court (Seventh Chamber) made on 28 June 2018 in Case T-147/15 Czech Republic v Commission

(Case C-575/18 P)

Language of the case: Czech


Appellant: Czech Republic (represented by: M. Smolek, J. Vláčil and O. Serdula, acting as Agents)

Other party to the proceedings: European Commission

Form of order sought

set aside the order under appeal;

reject the plea of inadmissibility raised by the European Commission;

refer the case back to the General Court for it to rule on the form of order sought by the Czech Republic in the application; and

order the European Commission to pay the costs.

Grounds of appeal and main arguments

In support of its appeal, the appellant puts forward a single ground of appeal, alleging infringement of Article 263 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) in conjunction with Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’).

In the order under appeal the General Court incorrectly concluded that the contested act, having regard in particular to the Commission’s lack of power to adopt a decision in the field of traditional own resources, was not an act against which an action could be brought under Article 263 TFEU, which according to the General Court did not conflict with the Czech Republic’s right to effective judicial protection within the meaning of Article 47 of the Charter, in so far as it was possible for the Czech Republic to pay the disputed amount conditionally, express objections to the soundness of the Commission’s legal view, and wait for the Commission to make an application under Article 258 TFEU.

The General Court’s conclusions are contrary to Article 263 TFU in conjunction with Article 47 of the Charter, as conditional payment does not ensure that the dispute will in future be judged on the merits by the Court of Justice. That follows from the settled case-law of the Court of Justice on the Commission’s discretion in connection with proceedings for failure to fulfil obligations, from the absence of any provision on the concept of conditional payment, and in particular from the previous practice of the Commission in this field.