• In the case of Case 25/62 Plaumann & Co v Commission [1963] ECR 95, the test of individual concern was established in relation to the violation of rights due to EU law.
  • Under Article 263 TFEU, protections against institutions exist when a decision impacts an individual.
  • This case involved custom duties, free movement of goods and European Economic Community law.

Facts of the Case

  • D did not allow import custom duties to be postponed for C to import clementines.
  • C claimed this was an abuse of power.

Issues

  • Was there an individual interest concerned?
  • Are Community institutions upholding the protection of the applicant?
  • Did C have standing for judicial review?

Held by European Court of Justice

  • C had no standing for judicial review – Individual concern could not be proven since anyone in Germany could have imported the fruit.

Advocate General (Herr Karl Roemer)

Individual concern

  • “The words and the natural meaning of the second paragraph of Article 173 of the EEC Treaty which allows an individual to institute proceedings against Decisions addressed to another person which are of direct and individual concern to the former justify the broadest interpretation.”
  • This judicial review failed because importing clementines was a commercial activity conducted by anyone anytime.
  • “Persons other than those to whom the decision was addressed can justifiably claim to be concerned individually only if the decision affects them because of certain characteristics which are peculiar to them or by reason of a factual situation which is, as compared with all other persons, peculiarly relevant to them, and by reference to which they may be individually described in a way similar to that of the addressee of the decision.”
  • “In the present case the applicant is affected by the disputed Decision as an importer of clementines, that is to say, by reason of a commercial activity which may at any time be practised by any person and is not therefore such as to distinguish the applicant in relation to the contested Decision as in the case of the addressee.”
  • Under this test, there may be more than one applicant who is individually concerned.

Editor’s Notes

  • This case concerned the enforcement of EU law and possible actions that can be taken as a result of Community institutions. This case also depicted the power of judicial review and the limits of its application.