Appeal brought on 12 September 2020 by Carlo Tognoli and Others against the order of the General Court (Eighth Chamber) delivered on 3 July 2020 in Joined Cases T-395/19, T-396/19, T-405/19, T-408/19, T-419/19, T-423/19, T-424/19, T-428/19, T-433/19, T-437/19, T-443/19, T-455/19, T-458/19 to T-462/19, T-464/19, T-469/19 and T-477/19, Tognoli and Others v Parliament

(Case C-431/20 P)

Language of the case: Italian

Parties

Appellants: Carlo Tognoli, Emma Allione, Luigi Alberto Colajanni, Claudio Martelli, Luciana Sbarbati, Carla Dimatore, as heir of Mario Rigo, Roberto Speciale, Loris Torbesi, as heir of Eugenio Melandri, Luciano Pettinari, Pietro Di Prima, Carla Barbarella, Carlo Alberto Graziani, Giorgio Rossetti, Giacomo Porrazzini, Guido Podestà, Roberto Barzanti, Rita Medici, Aldo Arroni, Franco Malerba, Roberto Mezzaroma (represented by: M. Merola and L. Florio, avvocati)

Other party to the proceedings: European Parliament

Form of order sought

The appellants claim that the Court should:

set aside the order under appeal and remit the case to the General Court for an examination on the merits;

order the Parliament to pay the costs of the appeal proceedings, reserving the costs of the proceedings before the General Court.

Grounds of appeal and main arguments

The appellants seek to have set aside, under Article 256 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 56 of the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the order of the General Court of the European Union (Eighth Chamber) delivered on 3 July 2020, notified on 3 July 2020, in Joined Cases T-395/19, T-396/19, T-405/19, T-408/19, T-419/19, T-423/19, T-424/19, T-428/19, T-433/19, T-437/19, T-443/19, T-455/19, T-458/19 to T-462/19, T-464/19, T-469/19 and T-477/19, declaring that their actions were manifestly inadmissible.

By their first ground of appeal, the appellants claim that the General Court erred in law by holding that the contested measure did not produce legal effects within the meaning of Article 263 TFEU. That error stems from the lack of any legal basis for considering that the measure was provisional and the failure to consider its legal effects vis-à-vis its addressees. The contested measure did in fact immediately produce legal effects vis-à-vis the appellants, depriving them of a substantial part of their pension rights.

By their second ground of appeal, the appellants claim that the General Court erred in law by interpreting and applying Article 86 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court in a manner contrary to its purpose and effectiveness. The purpose of that rule is in fact to avoid the unnecessary multiplication of actions. Further, the General Court, by declaring that each action and the statement modifying each application was inadmissible, committed a second error of law, the effect of which is, paradoxically, to deprive the appellants of judicial protection.

By their third ground of appeal, the appellants claim that two procedural errors, which should lead to the setting aside of the order, were committed, in particular: infringement of the principle audi alteram partem and an error of law in the application of Article 126 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court.

As regards the first limb, the appellants were not given the opportunity to respond to the plea of inadmissibility raised by the European Parliament regarding the statement modifying each application. Further, the General Court’s conduct is exacerbated by its decision that a second exchange of pleadings was not necessary and its failure to hold a hearing, depriving the appellants of the possibility of setting out their own position on the plea of inadmissibility regarding the statement modifying each application, despite the appellants having made a formal request in that regard.

In addition, the inconsistent procedural choices made by the General Court show that each action was not immediately clearly and unquestionably and therefore manifestly inadmissible within the meaning of Article 126 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court. Accordingly, the conditions laid down for the application of that article were not satisfied.

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