ECFI Preliminary rulings – Assessment of validity – Declaration that a regulation is invalid – Effects – Application by analogy of Article 176 of the Treaty (now Article 233 EC)- Obligations of the Community institutions – Scope – Compensation for damage caused by the illegality found – Covered (EC Treaty, Arts 176, 177 and 215, second para. (now Arts 233 EC, 234 EC and 288, second para., EC)
When, in proceedings under Article 177 of the EC Treaty (now Article 234 EC), the Court of Justice rules that an act adopted by the Community legislature is invalid, its decision has the legal effect of requiring the competent Community institutions to adopt the measures necessary to remedy that illegality. They must therefore take the measures necessary to comply with that judgment in the same way as they must, under Article 176 of the Treaty (now Article 233 EC), in the case of a judgment annulling a measure or declaring that the failure of a Community institution to act is unlawful. When a Community measure is held to be invalid by a preliminary ruling, the obligation laid down by Article 176 of the Treaty applies by analogy.
The obligation on the institutions to take the measures necessary to remedy illegalities found by the Community judicature requires them not only to adopt the essential legislative or administrative measures but also to make good damage which has resulted from the unlawful act, subject to fulfilment of the conditions laid down in the second paragraph of Article 215 of the Treaty (now the second paragraph of Article 288 EC)concerning the presence of fault, harm and a causal link.
Moura Ramos P
T-220/97,  EUECJ T-220/97
Updated: 06 June 2022; Ref: scu.173412