NewsSpecial Wire4 VPs of the European Parliament: EU is not...

4 VPs of the European Parliament: EU is not above the law

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Iran Focus: London, Feb. 01 – Four Vice Presidents of the European Parliament on Thursday accused the European Union of breaching a ruling by Europe’s Court of First Instance (CFI), after the 27-nation bloc’s finance officials announced they would provide the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), with a statement of reasons for placing it in its terrorist blacklist. Iran Focus

London, Feb. 01 – Four Vice Presidents of the European Parliament on Thursday accused the European Union of breaching a ruling by Europe’s Court of First Instance (CFI), after the 27-nation bloc’s finance officials announced they would provide the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), with a statement of reasons for placing it in its terrorist blacklist.

The four Vice Presidents – Alejo Vidal Quadras (EPP-ED), Luisa Morgantini (GUE-NGL), Manuel Dos Santos (PSE), and Edward McMillan-Scott (EPP-ED) – were among 18 Euro-parliamentarians who in a statement accused the European Council of “open defiance of the European Courts” following the decision taken on 30th January 2007 at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting, regarding the PMOI.

A spokesman for the lawmakers described the decision as a “blatant violation of the ruling of the European Communities’ Court of First Instance, of 12th December 2006”.

On December 12, the CFI in a ruling annulled a decision by the EU to freeze the funds of the PMOI.

The European Council announced on 31st January that it has “decided to provide the PMOI with a statement of reasons for keeping it on the EU’s ‘asset freeze list’ of persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts, and to give the PMOI one month to present its views, together with any supporting documentation”. (Press release: 2778th Council Meeting, Economic and Financial Affairs).

The PMOI were later informed that the British Government was the main sponsor of the proposition, the EU lawmakers said.

“In the conclusion of its judgment in the case of the ‘PMOI -v- the Council of the European Union’, the European Court of First Instance wrote unequivocally in Item 2 that it ‘Annuls, in so far as it concerns the applicant, Council Decision 2005/930/EC of 21 December 2005 implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism’”, the lawmakers’ statement added.

The Court stated in paragraph 35 of its ruling that when a court annuls an act “the act is eliminated retroactively from the legal order and is deemed never to have existed.”

“The Court decision effectively un-froze the assets of the PMOI and 4/5ths of the legal costs were awarded against the Council”, the lawmakers said.

They described the statement of reasons being provided by the EU as justification for keeping the PMOI on the blacklist is a “worthless charade, which makes a mockery of the rule of law upon which the institutions of the EU and European Member States rely”.

“Violating the rule of law and placing the Council’s opinion above that of the highest EU courts in yet another pathetic attempt to appease Iran, is both scandalous and shameful”, they said.

The PMOI was listed as a terrorist organisation by the European Union in mid-2002, in what the EU’s then-Spanish leadership called “a goodwill gesture to Tehran”.

The lawmakers called on the EU to “immediately implement” the CFI’s ruling and remove the PMOI from the blacklist.

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