Author: Marta Ramat
Committee: Academic Committee (Chairs: Alejandro Hernandez-Lopez, Ilaria Sticchi, Enrico Traversa)
Date: 19/03/2024

On 28 February, the General Court issued its Order in case T-385/32, Mincu Pătrașcu Brâncuși v EPPO.

The case arose in proceedings brought against Mr. Mincu Pătrașcu Brâncuși for alleged establishment of a criminal organisation committing crimes affecting the financial interests of the EU. After more than one year of investigation, the Tenth Permanent Chamber of the EPPO decided to bring the case to judgment.

Mr. Mincu Pătrașcu Brâncuși challenged that decision before the General Court by an action for annulment under Article 263 TFEU.

It follows that this case is analogous to the previous Stan v EPPO case, decided by the same Chamber (the Tenth) of the General Court on 15 December 2023. As a consequence, the exact same reasoning was reiterated, and the action was dismissed on grounds of lack of jurisdiction. On this occasion, the General Court once again held that the system set forth in Article 42 of Regulation 2017/1939 is a sui generis one, and that decisions to bring a case to judgment shall be impugned before national courts only. In that context, if the person concerned deems Article 42 to be in breach of the right to an effective legal remedy and of CJEU jurisdiction as laid down in Article 19 TEU, an exception of invalidity can be submitted before the national competent court, which may refer the question for preliminary ruling to the CJEU.

Since neither this Order nor the previous one have been challenged before the Court of Justice within the relevant time limit, this can be considered the current state of play on the matter.

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