A European court will convene in Luxembourg on Thursday, to reach a decision on a long-standing case regarding the listing of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) by the European Union as a ‘terrorist organisation’ between 2014-20.
The case goes back to 2014 when it was opened upon the application by the PKK against the decision of the Council of Europe to include the former in the terrorist organisations list.
The General Court, a constituent court of the Court of Justice of the EU, had ruled in November 2018 in favour of the applicants, top PKK officials Murat Karayılan and Duran Kalkan, to annul a series of implementations of regulations between 2014-17 by the Council of the EU on ‘specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism’ concerning the PKK.
The General Court based its ruling on grounds that the Council failed to provide decisions (reviewed every six months) to list the PKK as a ‘terrorist organisation’ with sufficient reasons.
The Court had held, in light of the ‘peace negotiations’ in 2013, that these decisions could no longer justify continued placement in the list. Apart from the peace-negotiations, this reportedly also concerns developments in 2015 in relation to the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).
While the Council, from 2015 onwards, added a French judgment in which some people had been convicted of lending support to the PKK to its reasons for placement, this verdict was also deemed to have been concerning old facts.
The Council had also made reference in its defence to facts that were said to be of a terrorist nature, and which were supposedly committed by the PKK. However, the PKK extensively disputed those facts.
The General Court’s ruling was appealed by the Council of the EU, which resulted in the Court of Justice revoking the ruling.
The PKK was listed by the Council as a ‘terrorist organisation’ once again in January 2019, and a new application against it was filed by the PKK officials. This second case involves the lists of 2019-20.
On Thursday, the General Court will convene to decide on Council decisions and lists between 2014-20 .