Case C-441/05, Roquette Frères

>> Nachi Europe confirmed in yet another Roquette Frères case

In this case, Roquette Frères brought proceedings against certain decisions by the French government concerning the production quotas for isoglucose, which it had been allocated under the common organisation of the markets in the sugar sector.

Roquette Frères argued that some provisions of the regulations on which these decisions were based were unlawful.

The Cour administrative d’appel, Douai (France) asked whether a natural or legal person such as Roquette Frères in factual and legal circumstances such as those of the main proceedings, could have brought an admissible action for annulment on the basis of Art. 230 EC.

The Court first of all reiterated that Article 241 EC expressed a general principle of law under which an applicant must, in proceedings brought under national law against the rejection of his application, be able to plead the illegality of a Community measure on which the national decision adopted in his regard was based, and the question of the validity of that Community measure might thus be referred to the Court in proceedings for a preliminary ruling. (see Case C-239/99 Nachi Europe [2001]).

However, this general principle, which had the effect of ensuring that every person had or would have had the opportunity to challenge a Community measure which formed the basis of a decision adversely affecting him, did not in any way preclude a regulation from becoming definitive as against an individual in regard to whom it must be considered to be an individual decision and who could undoubtedly have sought its annulment under Art. 230 EC, a fact which prevented that individual from pleading the illegality of that regulation before the national court.

Nevertheless, the Court held that Roquette Frères could not, in principle, be directly concerned, for the purpose of Art. 230(4) EC, by the allocation of basic production quantities to the Member States as effected at Community level by the contested provisions.

Text of Judgment