25 October 2007
Judgments of the Court of First Instance in Joined Cases T-27/03, T-80/03, T-46/03, T-58/03, T-79/03, T-97/03 and T-98/03, and in Cases T-45/03, T-77/03 and T-94/03
SP SpA and Others v Commission of the European Communities
THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE ANNULS THE FINES IMPOSED BY THE COMMISSION ON PRODUCERS OF REINFORCING BARS
Following the expiry of the ECSC Treaty, the Commission is no longer competent to adopt a decision based exclusively on a provision of that Treaty
Court’s findings (summary):
The Court points out first that the Community treaties established a new legal order, for the benefit of which the States have limited their sovereign rights in certain fields. Within that Community legal order the institutions have conferred powers only and, for that reason, Community measures refer to the legal basis which enables the institution concerned to act in the field in question.
The Court makes clear that the provision constituting the legal basis of a measure and enabling the Community institution to adopt it must be in force at the very time of its adoption. By contrast, the principles governing the succession of legal rules may lead to the application of substantive provisions which are no longer in force at the time of the adoption of an act by a Community institution.
Article 65 of the ECSC Treaty was the exclusive legal basis of the Commission’s decision. That provision was however no longer in force when the decision was adopted.
For that reason the Court declares the Commission decision to be unlawful and annuls it.
All the fines imposed are therefore annulled.
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