Knowledge Centre



European Citizens’ Initiatives, Greek Debt and Court of Justice: The Final Chapter

by Marco Ingelse

Feb 2, 2018

For the first time the Court of Justice – in its Grand Chamber composition – has ruled upon the registration phase of a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) and, consequently, on the framework of the Commission's powers in this respect. The ECI entitled "One Million Signatures for a Europe of Solidarity" – aimed at introducing in the EU economic and monetary policy the principle of the state of necessity in order to allow a State not to repay its debt – has been the object of the Anagnostakis I (General Court, judgment of 30 September 2015, case T-450/12, Alexios Anagnostakis v. Commission) and Anagnostakis II (Court of Justice, judgment of 12 September 2017, case C-589/15 P, Alexios Anagnostakis v. Commission [GC]) cases. Against this background, this Insight will be structured as follows. Firstly, it will offer an overview of both cases analysing, in turn, the objectives of the ECI at stake as well as the judgment of the General Court (Anagnostakis I). Secondly, it will delve into the opinion of AG Mengozzi and the judgment of the Court of Justice (Anagnostakis II) which upheld the decision of the General Court. Thirdly, and in conclusion, it will link the Court of Justice judgment to the current debate on ECIs' developments and the recast of Regulation 211/2011 arguing that, despite some setbacks, ECIs might now be ready to deploy their full potentials, namely, empowering citizens to influence the Commission's legislative agenda.