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28.3.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 94/29

Further, the applicants allege, in support of their claims, to be regarded as inappropriate, because they are limited
that the principles of proportionality, of the protection of to a period of one year, and because the Regulation has no
legitimate expectations, fairness and proportionality have binding effect on the Member States. Moreover, the action
been breached and that the right to property and freedom envisaged by the Community was centred only on priority
to provide a service have been disregarded. regions. The applicants state in that connection that since
the damage was definitive as at 1 January 1993, the date
of publication of Regulation (EEC) No 3904/92 rendered
ineffective the few measures that were envisaged therein,
since the undertakings were obliged to take the economic
measures necessary, without receiving support, on that
Actions brought on 31 December 1997 by Alberny FreÁres same date in order to limit their losses. The measures
and Others against Commission of the European proposed, whatever they might be, could be taken only a
Communities and Council of the European Union long time after the requisite adoption of the restructuring
measures.
(Joined Cases T-615/97 to T-618/97)
(98/C 94/73) The applicants allege breach, so far as they are concerned,
of the principle of the observance of acquired rights, the
(Language of the case: French) principle of legal certainty, the principle of the protection
of legitimate expectations and the principle of non-
Actions against the Commission of the European discrimination.
Communities and the Council of the European Union
were brought before the Court of First Instance on The applicants state in particular in that connection that
31 December 1997 by Alberny FreÁres and Others, no initiative taken by the undertakings before 31 December
established in France, represented by Jean-FrancËois 1992 taking account of the disappearance of intra-
Bournilhas, of the Paris Bar, and Mark Clough, Solicitor, Community customs traffic on 1 January 1993, in
with an address for service in Luxembourg at the particular the laying off of employees under the special
chambers of Aloyse May, 31 Grand-Rue. social plan, could give effect to a regulation which was
not to become known until 31 December 1992, that is to
The applicants claim that the Court of First Instance say at the very time at which the harm accrued. Moreover,
should: Regulation (EEC) No 3904/92 treats in the same way
situations which differ considerably from one Member
Ð declare the defendants liable, for the purposes of the State to another. Finally, that Regulation is discriminatory
second paragraph of Article 215 of the Treaty for the as between those who took such action before January
damage caused to their businesses as approved 1993 and those who took it after its publication.
customs agents as a result of the provisions adopted
by the Council to ensure the free movement of goods In the alternative, the applicants allege strict liability on
throughout the internal market as from 1 January the part of the Community, deriving from its failure to
1993, without taking the measures necessary to ensure equal treatment in relation to charges imposed by
safeguard the applicants' interests and as a result of the public authorities. In their opinion, the intervention of
the Commission's failure to propose and the Council's the Community authorities can be deemed to constitute an
failure to adopt the measures necessary legitimately to expropriation, since the situation in which they find
safeguard their rights, themselves is worse than that which would derive from
the economic risks associated with the economic sector
Ð order the defendants jointly and severally to concerned.
compensate each of the applicants for the said
damage, and to pay interest at the rate of 8 % per (1) Council Regulation (EEC) No 3904/92 of 17 December 1992
annum as from 1 January 1993, on measures to adapt the profession of customs agent to the
internal market (OJ L 394, 31.12.1992, p. 1).
Ð order the defendants jointly and severally to pay the
costs.

Pleas in law and main arguments adduced in support:

The applicants, which are approved French customs Actions brought on 24 December 1997 by SPRL NoeÈl
agents, criticise the Community institutions for failing to Boone and Others against Commission of the European
take adequate measures to forestall the harm accruing to Communities
them as a result of completion of the internal market (Joined Cases T-620/97 to T-627/97)
established by the Single European Act.
(98/C 94/74)
The applicants claim that the only reaction on the part of
the Community authorities to the situation in which they (Language of the case: French)
found themselves is contained in Council Regulation
(EEC) No 3904/92 of 17 December 1992 (1). However, Actions against the Commission of the European
the measures with which that Regulation is concerned are Communities were brought before the Court of First
C 94/30 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 28.3.98

Instance on 24 December 1997 by SPRL NoeÈl Boone and applicants were required, until the very eve of 1 January
Others, established in Belgium, represented by Pierre 1993, to carry on their activities in the same way, before
Cavenaile and Koenraad Tanghe, of the LieÁge Bar, with an becoming subject to the entry into force of the new rules.
address for service in Luxembourg at the chambers of
Alex Schmitt, 62 Avenue Guillaume. Finally, by adopting Regulation (EEC) No 3904/92, the
Council failed entirely to take account of the location or
The applicants claim that the Court of First Instance size of the undertakings.
should:
(1) Council Regulation (EEC) No 3904/92 of 17 December 1992
on measures to adapt the profession of customs agent to the
Ð order the defendants jointly and severally to pay a internal market (OJ L 394, 31.12.1992, p. 1).
provisional sum, subject to increase or reduction in the (2) Council Regulation (EEC) No 3632/85 of 12 December 1985
course of the proceedings, together with interest defining the conditions under which a person may be
thereon at the rate of 8 % from 1 January 1993, the permitted to make a customs declaration (OJ L 350,
date on which the damage actually occurred, until the 31.12.1992, p. 1).
date of actual payment,

Ð order the defendants jointly and severally to pay the


entirety of the costs.

Action brought on 3 January 1998 by Carlo De Nicola


Pleas in law and main arguments adduced in support: against the European Investment Bank
(Case T-7/98)
The applicants, which are Belgian customs agents, seek
compensation for damage suffered as a result of (98/C 94/75)
completion of the internal market: the Community
institutions failed to adopt effective transitional measures (Language of the case: Italian)
to enable customs agents to adjust progressively to the
new requirements. In the applicants' view, the only An action against the European Investment Bank was
reaction on the part of the Community institutions is brought before the Court of First Instance of the European
contained in Council Regulation (EEC) No 3904/92, Communities on 3 January 1998 by Carlo De Nicola,
published on 31 December 1992 (1) Ð that is to say the represented by Luigi Isola of the Rome Bar, and Fergus
day before the entry into force of the rules that are ruining Randolph, of the Bar of England and Wales, with an
their businesses Ð which envisages measures that are address for service in Luxembourg at Carlo De Nicola's
totally inappropriate to their legitimate expectations and own address, 16 Rue du Kiem.
to those of the profession as a whole.
The applicant claims that the Court should:
In support of their claims, they allege breach of the
principle of the observance of acquired rights, the Ð annul the promotions communicated on 23 July 1997
principle of the protection of legitimate expectations and in so far as they do not contain the applicant's name
the principle of non-discrimination. at point 1.1, annul the decision contained in letter
RH/DIR/97-101 of 3 October 1997 and, finally, annul
They state in that connection that, in Regulation (EEC) all subsequent related acts, including the assessment
No 3632/85 (2), the Council recognised the existence and made of the applicant in respect of 1996 inasmuch as
legitimacy of the profession of customs agent, and no it does not propose his promotion to work in D,
indication, either implicit or explicit, has been given that
the position has changed. In their view, they were thereby Ð order the defendant EIB to pay compensation for
recognised as enjoying a genuine right acquired before the physical, non-material and material damage.
adoption of the Single European Act, that is to say at a
time when the envisaged extent of European construction
Pleas in law and main arguments adduced in support:
did not call for the abolition of intra-Community
frontiers.
The applicant, an official of the European Investment
Bank, contests the appointing authority's refusal to
As regards the protection of legitimate expectations, the promote him from E to D in the context of the
applicants consider that when the economic impossibility promotions decided upon on 23 July 1997.
of exercising a given profession is the result of measures of
secondary law, the legitimate expectations entertained by
economic operators regarding the conduct of the The applicant sets out a number of specific situations
Community institutions are frustrated. In their opinion, within his department and goes on to put forward in
the infringement of their expectations is particularly support of his claim the following pleas in law:
serious where, as in this case, the supervening
impossibility was severe and total. Moreover, the Ð abuse of powers, inasmuch as the Staff Regulations
infringement had particularly serious consequences in this were infringed, and unequal treatment, inasmuch as
case since, under Regulation (EEC) No 3623/85, the the Director-General for Finance had implemented a