Blog post

Publication details

The strange procedural fate of the actions for annulment of the EU relocation scheme

Year: 2017
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Author(s) details

Marcello di Filippo

Publication description

asylum, migration, Principle of Solidarity
In early December 2015, Slovakia and Hungary filed to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) two separate actions for annulment (case C-643/15 and case C-647/15), challenging the legality of Decision No 1601/2015 (“the contested decision”) adopted on 22 September 2015 by the Council of the EU. This act followed a first decision (Decision No 2015/1523 of 14 September 2015, establishing an infra-EU relocation scheme for 40.000 asylum seekers in favour of Greece and Italy) and added up other 120.000 seats for relocation. For a discussion of the relocation scheme, see M. Di Filippo, Le misure sulla ricollocazione dei richiedenti asilo adottate dall’Unione europea nel 2015: considerazioni critiche e prospettive, in Diritto, immigrazione, cittadinanza, 2015, 33; S.F. Nicolosi, Emerging challenges of the temporary relocation measures under European Union asylum law, in European Law Review, 2016, 338. Contrary to the first decision, the contested decision was adopted with a qualified majority vote and the opposition of the applicants plus the Czech Republic and Romania. Some authors already discussed the legal arguments against the validity of the challenged EU measure, anticipated through various sources and later summarised on the ECJ website (see Peers, Vikarska, Groenendijk & Nagy, Varju & Czina). Here the pleas on the merits will not be discussed: rather, some remarks will be devoted to the procedural behaviour of the applicants, of the defendant (the Council of the EU), of the same ECJ, of the European Commission and of the other Member States. It is understood that the arguments that will be developed are based upon the few publicly available information (extracted from the website of the ECJ and from the OJEU), and upon other information courtesly provided by the Registry of the Court, by the European Commission and by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.