Friday 24 October 2008

EU member states fool European Court of Justice - updated

Some time ago, I have covered the European Union's practice of deciding upon its terror list. Here some follow up on that issue:

In fact, the European Court of Justice had issued a verdict saying that the Iranian opposition group mentioned in the previous article - the People's Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) - should no longer be listed on the European Union's terror list.

However, EUobserver reports that member states are fooling around with the Court's verdict by constantly taking "new" positions on that issue, saying that "new information" make it "impossible" to remove the PMOI from the list.

"Luckily", these "information" are secret, since
"The terrorist register [...] is managed by EU member state intelligence services meeting in a "clearing house" working group with no political or judicial oversight and with their decisions later rubber-stamped by EU ministers as EU "common positions."
Nice little secret information that are played against the rulings of the Court, and our member states' governments willingly join the decision of their behind-the-doors working group - probably most of them don't even know what they decide upon.

And so, in the end, the Court's verdict do not seem binding for the governments, just because they have installed a secret group that does decides that the PMOI is a terrorist group.

That the highest court of the Union does not share this view, apparently is no reason to have doubts. And it also doesn't seem to be necessary to give public explanations (and I do not mean empty phrases!) to justify their move. Nice!

How can the governments expect the citizens of the Union to respect the Court when they themselves do not show much respect...?

Update (27 January 2009):

Finally, the Council has removed the PMOI from its terror list.


Ralf Grahn said...


The governments may, or may not, have good new reasons, but you are on the mark drawing attention to the question.

Every item of information cannot be in the public domain, but some standards of accountability have to be upheld.

This case seems to be an ideal 'guinea pig' for testing principles of accountable government.