Request for a preliminary ruling from the tribunal judiciaire d’Auch (France) lodged on 9 December 2020 – EP v Préfet du Gers, Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques

(Case C-673/20)

Language of the case: French

Referring court

Tribunal judiciaire d’Auch

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: EP

Defendants: Préfet du Gers, Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques

Other party to the proceedings: Mayor of Thoux

Questions referred

Must Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union be interpreted as revoking the EU citizenship of UK nationals who, before the end of the transition period, have exercised their right to freedom of movement and freedom to settle freely in the territory of another Member State, in particular for those who have lived in the territory of another Member State for more than 15 years and are subject to the UK 15-year rule, thus depriving them of any right to vote?

If so, is the combination of Articles 2, 3, 10, 12 and 127 of the Withdrawal Agreement, recital 6 of its Preamble, and Articles 18, 20 and 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to be regarded as having allowed those UK nationals to retain, without exception, the rights to EU citizenship which they enjoyed before the withdrawal of their country from the European Union?

If the answer to Question 2 is in the negative, is the Withdrawal Agreement not invalid in part in so far as it infringes the principles underlying EU identity, and, in particular, Articles 18, 20 and 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and also Articles 39 and [40] of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and does it not infringe the principle of proportionality, in that it contains no provision permitting them to retain those rights without exception?

In any event, is Article 127(1)(b) of the Withdrawal Agreement not invalid in part in so far as it infringes Articles 18, 20 and 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and also Articles 39 and 40 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in that it deprives EU citizens who have exercised their right to freedom of movement and freedom to settle freely in the United Kingdom of the right to vote and to stand as candidates in municipal elections in that country and, if the General Court and the Court of Justice interpret them in the same way as the Conseil d’État (Council of State, France), does that infringement not extend to UK nationals who have exercised their freedom of movement and their freedom to settle freely in the territory of another Member State for more than 15 years and are subject to the UK 15-year rule, thus depriving them of any right to vote?

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