CJEU - Joined Cases C-208/17 P to C-210/17 P, Order of the Court (First Chamber) of 12 September 2018, NF and Others v European Council

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Date of Decision: 
Joined Cases C-208/17 P to C-210/17 P
Court Name: 
Court of Justice of the European Union (First Chamber)
Relevant Legislative Provisions: 
European Union Law > Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union 2010/C 83/01

CJEU (First Chamber) finds appeal against decision of the General Court dismissing the actions for annulment of the ‘EU-Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016’ manifestly inadmissible.


This case concerns the EU-Turkey statement of 18 March 2016.

All  three of the joined cases seek the annulment of the orders of the General Court of the European Union of 28 February 2017 by which the General Court dismissed their actions for annulment of an agreement allegedly concluded between the European Council and the Republic of Turkey dated 18 March 2016, entitled ‘EU-Turkey statement’.

This statement built upon the joint EU-Turkey action plan activated on 29 November 2015. According to the statement, all migrants crossing the Aegean Sea illegally would be readmitted to Turkey, while for every Syrian returned to Turkey from the Greek islands, another Syrian would be resettled from Turkey to the EU.

NF, NG and NM each brought an action seeking annulment of the EU-Turkey statement, arguing that it is an act attributable to the European Council establishing an international agreement contrary to EU law.

However, the European Council raised a plea of inadmissibility pursuant to Article 130 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Court and requested the General Court to dismiss the applicants’ actions.

The General Court upheld that plea by declaring that, “The action is dismissed on the ground of the Court’s lack of jurisdiction to hear and determine it.”

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Court first noted that according to settled case-law, it is apparent from Article 256 TFEU, Article 58(1) of the Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union and Articles 168(1)(d) and 169 of the Rules of Procedure that an appeal must indicate precisely the contested elements of the decision of the General Court and also the legal arguments specifically advanced in support of the appeal, failing which the appeal or the ground of appeal in question will be dismissed as inadmissible.

Therefore, the Court stressed that an appeal must be sufficiently clear and precise to enable the Court to exercise its powers of judicial review. If it does not satisfy those requirements, it must be dismissed as inadmissible. Referencing case law, the Court also pointed out that appeals lacking a coherent structure and those that are a mere abstract statement of the pleas in law are inadmissible.

The Court found the appeals in the present case to be incoherent. The Court states that the reasoning of the pleas in law are not clearly and precisely apparent from the elements which are set out in a vague and confused manner. According to the Court, the appeals simply make general assertions that the General Court disregarded a certain number of principles of EU law, without indicating with the requisite degree of precision the contested elements in the orders under appeal or the legal arguments specifically advanced in support of the application for annulment. Therefore, the Court found the appeals inadmissible in their entirety.

In addition, the Court ruled that by their arguments, the appellants merely express their disagreement with the General Court’s assessment of the facts, while requesting that those facts be assessed again, without claiming or establishing that the assessment of the facts had been manifestly inaccurate. Therefore, their appeals were inadmissible.


Appeal dismissed as manifestly inadmissible.

Other sources cited: 

Judgment of 14 December 2016, SV Capital v EBA, C 577/15 P, EU:C:2016:947; Judgment of 29 September 2011, Arkema v Commission, C 520/09 P, EU:C:2011:619; Judgment of 10 July 2014, Telefónica and Telefónica de España v Commission, C 295/12 P, EU:C:2014:2062; Order of 12 December 2006, Autosalone Ispra v Commission, C 129/06 P, not published, EU:C:2006:775; judgment of 13 September 2007, Il Ponte Finanziaria v OHIM, C 234/06 P, EU:C:2007:514; judgment of 7 April 2016, Akhras Council, C‑193/15 P, EU:C:2016:219.

Rules of Procedure of the General Court: Article 130, Article 168(1)(d), Article 169, Article 181

Statute of the Court of Justice of the European Union: Article 21, Article 58



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