Establishing Locus Standi under Article 173(2) of the EEC Treaty

Tabaczyk, Edward J. | January 1, 1985

Article 173 of the Treaty of Rome allows natural and legal persons to obtain judicial review of certain legal acts of the Council or Commission of the European Economic Community (EEC Council or Commission). Specifically, Article 173(2) allows nonaddressees of a decision or a decision in the form of a regulation to petition the Court of Justice of the European Community (the European Court) for an annulment of the legal act on one of four grounds. Before an application for an annulment is admissible, however, the applicant must show that the legal act is of “direct and individual concern” to him. Yet, the European Court has not clearly interpreted “direct and individual concern”: the locus standi requirement, or the right of appearance in the European Court. The European Court’s unclear interpretation of the locus standi requirement generates uncertainty and reduces the utility of Article 173(2) as a judicial review provision. he primary objective of this Comment is to help clarify the locus standi requirement in order to reduce uncertainty. To meet this objective, this Comment will analyze how the European Court is interpreting the locus standi requirement. The Comment will also suggest a mode of analysis for determining whether an applicant is directly and individually concerned by the legal act he is seeking to annul.