Language of document :

Appeal brought on 26 June 2018 by European Citizens' Initiative One of Us against the judgment of the General Court (Second Chamber, Extended Composition) delivered on 23 April 2018 in Case T-561/14: European Citizens' Initiative One of Us and others v European Commission

(Case C-418/18 P)

Language of the case: English


Appellant: European Citizens' Initiative One of Us (represented by: P. Diamond, Barrister, R. Kiska, Solicitor)

Other parties to the proceedings: Republic of Poland, European Commission, European Parliament, Council of the European Union

Form of order sought

The appellant claims that the Court should:

set aside the judgment of the General Court of 23 April 2018 in Case T-561/14;

annul the Commission Communication COM(2014) 355 Final of 28 May 2014;

order the Commission to pay the costs of the procedure for the appeal and the costs for the procedure of the hearing at first instance.

Pleas in law and main arguments

First, the General Court misapplied Article 117 TEU in the light of Article 11(4) TEU, Article 24 TFEU and Regulation 211/20111 ; any discretion of the Commission must be consistent with the objectives of the ECI. The General Court’s ruling has failed to take into consideration the legislative intent of the Regulation; and has consequently made it dead letter.

Second, the General Court erred in not finding that Commission Communication COM(2014) 355 final2 does not set out its legal and political conclusions separately as required by Regulation (EU) No 211/2011.

Third, the General Court failed to review Commission Communication COM(2014) 355 final with the correct level of scrutiny required. The General Court applied a test of limited review; namely of manifest error.

Fourth, in any event, if the level of review as applied by the General Court is the correct legal test (which is not accepted), the General Court failed to hold that the reasons provided by the Commission in Commission Communication COM(2014) 355 final satisfied the test of manifest error; inter alia the Commission has failed to apply correctly Case C-34/10 Oliver Brüstle v Greenpeace e.V; failed to consider the implications of the ‘triple lock’ system, which provides no ethical safeguards (and, in fact, provides incentives for Member States to lower their own ethical safeguards in order to access research funds). The Commission further manifestly erred in suggesting that offering access to abortion is an international obligation streaming from the ICPD Programme of Action in 1994 and the UN Millennium Development Goals; it has further erred in its illogical proposition that the financing of organizations promoting and practising abortion in developing countries would be beneficial to maternal health, as opposed to increasing funds towards the grossly understaffed and undersupplied health systems within these nations.

Fifth, the General Court erred in the mischaracterizing of the ECI, namely as one for the introduction of three specific legislative proposals, rather than one for the protection of the dignity of the embryo. Thus, the General Court failed to correctly approach the issues in the case.


1 Regulation (EU) No 211/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 on the citizens’ initiative (OJ 2011, L 65, p. 1).

2 Communication from the Commission on the European Citizens' Initiative "One of us".