Judgment of the General Court (Sixth Chamber) of 11 July 2019 –
Yanukovych v Council

(Joined Cases T245/16 and T286/17)

(Common foreign and security policy — Restrictive measures taken in view of the situation in Ukraine — Freezing of funds — List of persons, entities and bodies subject to the freezing of funds and economic resources — Maintenance of the applicant’s name on the list — Council’s obligation to verify that the decision of an authority of a third State was taken in accordance with the rights of the defence and the right to effective judicial protection)

1.      Judicial proceedings — Application initiating proceedings — Formal requirements — Brief summary of the pleas in law on which the application is based — General reference to documents annexed to the application — Inadmissibility

(Statute of the Court of Justice, Art. 21; Rules of Procedure of the General Court, Art. 76(1)(d))

(see paras 57, 58)

2.      European Union — Judicial review of the legality of the acts of the institutions — Restrictive measures taken having regard to the situation in Ukraine — Freezing of funds of persons involved in the misappropriation of public funds and of natural or legal persons, bodies or organisations associated with them — Ambit of the review

(Art. 275, 2d para. TFEU; Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Art. 47; Council Decisions (CFSP) 2016/318 and 2017/381; Council Regulations 2016/311 and 2017/374)

(see paras 73, 74)

3.      Common foreign and security policy — Restrictive measures taken having regard to the situation in Ukraine — Decision to freeze funds — Adoption or maintenance on a basis of judicial proceedings led by the authorities of a third State in relation to misappropriation of public funds — Lawfulness — Condition — National decision adopted in accordance with the rights of the defence and the right to effective judicial protection — Council’s verification obligation — Obligation to state reasons — Scope — Third State that has acceded to the European Convention on Human Rights — Irrelevant

(Council Decisions (CFSP) 2016/318 and 2017/381; Council Regulations 2016/311 and 2017/374)

(see paras 75-80, 85-87, 91-95)

Re:

Application under Article 263 TFEU seeking the annulment, first, of Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/318 of 4 March 2016 amending Decision 2014/119/CFSP concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Ukraine (OJ 2016 L 60, p. 76), and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/311 of 4 March 2016 implementing Regulation (EU) No 208/2014 concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Ukraine (OJ 2016 L 60, p. 1) and, second, of Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/381 of 3 March 2017 amending Decision 2014/119/CFSP concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Ukraine (OJ 2017 L 58, p. 34), and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/374 of 3 March 2017 implementing Regulation (EU) No 208/2014 concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Ukraine (OJ 2017 L 58, p. 1), in so far as the applicant’s name was maintained on the list of persons, entities and bodies subject to those restrictive measures.

Operative part

The Court:

1.

Annuls Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/318 of 4 March 2016 amending Decision 2014/119/CFSP concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Ukraine, and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/311 of 4 March 2016 implementing Regulation (EU) No 208/2014 concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Ukraine, as well as Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/381 of 3 March 2017 amending Decision 2014/119/CFSP concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Ukraine, and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/374 of 3 March 2017 implementing Regulation (EU) No 208/2014 concerning restrictive measures directed against certain persons, entities and bodies in view of the situation in Ukraine, in so far as the name of Mr Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych was maintained on the list of persons, entities and bodies subject to those restrictive measures;

2.

Orders the Council of the European Union to bear its own costs and to pay those incurred by Mr Yanukovych.