Locus Standi of Representative Groups in the Shadow of Plaumann: Limitations and Possible Solutions
SourceActa Juridical Hungarica
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Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to examine the state of the law in relation to the locus standi of representative groups at the Union level. The paper has a dual thematic task: the assessment of the degree in which representative groups and their standing to challenge the validity of legislative measures can be differentiated from the Plaumann criterion and the identification of strategies that can improve the chances of interest groups to challenge under Art. 230 EC. The thesis adopted in response states that regrettably the ECJ’s interpretation of the requirement of individual concern has been applied to representative groups. After examining the jurisprudence in different areas and from the perspective of the arguments used by representative groups in order to bypass Plaumann, there does not seem to be any clear thematic or argumentative typology that influences the ECJ. The only important element that could make a difference is the existence of documented participation by the representative body that creates procedural rights. It is in this respect that the removal of the individual concern shadow can be achieved, namely through representative groups being effective at what they are designed to do: lobbying. Therefore, the key to strengthening the standing claim is enhanced and certified participation.