The organisers of the rejected ECI, ‘One Million Signatures for a “Europe of Solidarity”’, are taking the Commission to the European Court of Justice over its refusal to register their initiative. They will have their hearing at the Court on 5 May 2015 (Case T-450/12).
The organisers will ask the Court to annul the Commission’s rejection decision and order it to register their initiative. Their initiative proposed that the debt of countries in a “state of necessity” be cancelled. They will argue that the Commission was unjustified in deciding that their initiative was outside its competences.
Five other ECIs have applied to the Court of Justice to have their rejection decisions overturned. None of them have yet had their hearing date announced. These ECIs are:
– Stop TTIP – Case T-754/14
– Minority SafePack – one million signatures for diversity in Europe – Case T-646/13
– Cohesion policy for the equality of the regions and the preservation of regional cultures – Case T-529/13
– Right to Lifelong Care: Leading a life of dignity and Independence is a fundamental right! – Case T-44/14
– Ethics for Animals and Kids – Case T-361/14
One final initiative has also appealed to the court: the ECI “One of Us”. This ECI collected 1 800 000 signatures, making it the most successful so far. However, the Commission responded to “One of Us” with only a communication, rather than the amendments to legislation that the initiative proposed.
The organisers felt the Commission’s response to their initiative was inadequate and so applied to the ECJ for this communication to be annulled. The Commission has responded, claiming that the organisers have no grounds for such an annulment. However, “One of Us” now claims that the Commission’s reliance on “formal arguments” and refusal to defend the “factual assumptions and legal interpretations” of its original communication is so weak that it represents a “moral victory” for the initiative. Whether this “moral victory” will translate into any further action by either the Court or the Commission remains to be seen.