I was just reading this article by the Telegram which says,

The Court of First Instance (CFI), the EU’s second-highest court, said the EU had not properly justified its decision at the time. [...] “For the Council (of EU governments), the PKK continues to be on the list,” the official said.

I'm confused about the ramifications of that though. What does the EU think of the PKK? Does it officially designate them as Terrorist? Where is that list? Did a higher court overrule the CFI, and if so what one? Does the EU's court not bind the EU governments to their decision?

2 Answers 2


The list is the EU terrorist list. It is a list of people and organizations that are considered terrorist and that is compiled by the Council of the European Union. People and organizations in the list are subject to restrictive measures (like freeze of assets).

About the PKK, the article is rather clear. According to it:

A European Union court ruled against the way the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was put on the bloc’s list of groups whose funds must be frozen to help fight terrorism in 2002,

The ruling does not say that the PKK is a terrorist organization, nor the opposite. It says that when in 2002 it was included, it was done without following the proper procedure (there were not enough reasons provided for the decision). So the inclusion of the PKK in the 2002 list was not valid.

But an EU official said a new version list had been drawn up in December 2007, including the PKK again, which took into account the views of the court in similar cases in the past.

That means that the answer by the EU Council is that in 2007 they did it right, so even if the inclusion of the PKK in the 2002 list has been invalidated, the inclusion of the PKK in the 2007 list remains in effect since -in the opinion of the EU Council- that time they did it in the proper way.

So, to take out the PKK from the list, at least the 2007 list (or the most recent one) should be challenged in court. Note also that in the page that I linked to there is a reference to Hamas and, according to that, if the PKK were to win such a lawsuit and the Council were to appeal that ruling, the PKK would remain in the list until the appeal was decided.

  • 1
    Well that raises the question about what additional reasons where given in 2007? Where can I find that? Feb 22, 2018 at 22:28
  • 1
    What I see are the lists of modifications, without specific motives, like for example. This page seems to have extensive references, but I do not know if it is complete and gives no further information about PKK. I should note that AFAIR(ead), there is a requirement for the reasons to be given to those included in the list, but I see requirement for public disclosure.
    – SJuan76
    Feb 22, 2018 at 22:49
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    @SJuan76: I edited your answer because of confusion about the various Councils. The Council of Europe is a completely separate entity comprising far more countries than the EU. This is about the Council of the European Union (also known as Council of Ministers or just Council), a body of the EU representing the member states’ governments. There is also the European Council, comprising the EU members’ heads of state or government.
    – chirlu
    Feb 23, 2018 at 2:58
  • From how I interpret your link to the EU page for the list, the first requirement for putting some organization on that list is that a country requests it (any one of the 190+ member states of the UN). And if the additionally specified procedure is followed, then there is nothing to prevent that organization from appearing on the list. Sounds like an administrative decision by the EU court.
    – jjack
    Feb 23, 2018 at 19:15

Decisions from the Court of First Instance (which is actually known since 2009 as the “General Court”) can be appealed in front of the “Court of Justice” (which is also know as EUCJ, ECJ or European Court of Justice). Somewhat confusingly, both together are known as the “Court of Justice of the European Union”.

Historically, the “Court of Justice” was the only EU court. The Court of First Instance/General Court was created in 1988 to deal an increasing caseload. It's been reformed several time since. The last reform became effective in 2019 by doubling the number of judges (two by member state). For a while, there was also a “European Union Civil Service Tribunal” and proposals to create other specialized courts but the Civil Service Tribunal was disbanded and enlarging the General Court was deemed easier (preventing disputes between member states regarding which one should nominate a judge).

In French (the working language of the court), the terminology is slightly less confusing (but only slightly).

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