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European Union

European Commission v. Council for the European Union (European Court of Justice, 2015)

Jurisdiction: European Court of Justice

Side A: European Commission (Government)

Side B: Council for the European Union (Government)

Core objectives: European Commission challenged negotiating directives of Council establishing detailed negotiating procedures and reporting requirements

Australia approached the European Commission (the "Commission") to negotiate linking the EU's greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme with Australia's emissions trading system. A formal recommendation authorizing the opening of negotiations with Australia was adopted by the Commission and forwarded to the Council for the EU (the "Council"). After Member States requested greater involvement in the negotiations with Australia, the Council approved negotiating directives which 1) required the Commission to "report in writing to the Council on the outcome of the negotiations after each negotiating session and, in any event, at least quarterly" and 2) laid out specific procedures for the negotiations, including allowing the Council or a special committee to establish detailed negotiating positions for the EU. The Commission brought an action to annul these sections of the negotiating directives on the basis that they exceeded the Council's authority and encroached on the Commission's power. The Advocate General issued an opinion finding that the Council is entitled to ask for regular reports on the negotiations process, but it may not unilaterally impose detailed procedures for the conduct of international negotiations. The Advocate General recommended that the Court annul the section of the negotiating directives requiring specific negotiating procedures.
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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