e-News 2016/3



Dear readers,

During the recent ACA Board Meeting in The Hague we discussed the working programme 2017-2018. Thanks to the proposals of a number of ACA Members to organise seminars (e.g. by Slovenia on administrative penalties in EU law, Estonia on due process, the Netherlands on the EU program Better Regulation and Poland on alien law) and the ongoing efforts of the Secretariat in Brussels to organise our regular activities (such as Forum, Jurifast, newsletters and judge exchanges) ACA is able to foster and broaden the fruitful cooperation between its members. The recent November expert meeting held in The Hague on the preliminary ruling procedure has shown that this type of cooperation indeed yields tangible results.

For more than 60 years the unique European project aimed at cooperation for peace and prosperity was seen by almost all as a success. Many countries wanted to join the expanding Union and many have worked very hard to be able to fulfil all obligations of membership. The desire of a majority of the population of the United Kingdom to leave the EU came as a surprise to most of us. Could the legal order we built over the past decades be dissolved? Could others follow on the same path as the UK? Europe no longer seems self-evident, but was it perhaps not a bit naïve ever to think it was.

In the same way we held the Rule of Law to be indisputable. But recent political developments are indeed worrying, both in- and outside the EU. It seems as if the Rule of Law for some leading politicians no longer is their prime concern. Political agreement and the desire to achieve fast results are often being considered more important than governing in a wise and legally prudent way. Indeed one of the cornerstones of the Rule of Law – the independence of the judiciary – comes under threat implicitly or even explicitly. Recent developments in Turkey give extra cause for concern in this light.

As ACA Members our first and foremost answer to such dark clouds should be to show politicians and others around us the fruits of concrete and positive European cooperation. Let us hope that a good example will be followed.

Piet Hein Donner
President of ACA-Europe,
Vice President of the Council of State of the Netherlands


On 7 November, the Council of State of the Netherlands and the Association of the Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union (ACA-Europe) hosted the seminar titled: “Preliminary ruling procedure” during which the representatives of the supreme administrative jurisdictions of twenty-six European countries, representatives of the Court of justice and the European Commission, as well as judges and lawyers of the Dutch Council of State shared their experiences, observations and questions relating to the preliminary ruling procedure.


Rule of law: Commission issues recommendation to Poland

The European Commission has adopted a recommendation on the rule of law relating to the situation in Poland, in which it shares its concerns and formulates recommendations on how to remedy the same.



ACA-Europe has moved on to a new system of indexing by the subject matter of the decisions in JuriFast.

Over the years and with the successive changes made to European law, the indexing system used till date had in fact become obsolete and incomplete, which made the classification of certain decisions difficult.

After examining the various available options, it finally decided to use the detailed, updated and multilingual Directory of case-law of the CJEU. It is also available on the EurLex website, where it systematically provides the summaries of the rulings and orders of the Court of justice, Tribunal and the Civil Service Tribunal. The Directory is available in the 24 official languages of the EU. Using the new indexing system, it is now possible to select the keywords in one’s national language (it was a recurring request from our members).

Another advantage of the new system is that it will allow one to be as generic or specific as may be desired. In fact, it will be possible to associate a decision to a relatively general section (e.g. “1.04 Fundamental rights”) or to one of the more specific keywords that it contains (e.g. “ Protection of personal data”).

It will also be possible to associate a decision to several keywords contained in the Directory, especially when a decision deals with several problems. The new system became effective at the end of October. Since then, any new decision is to be integrated in the new index. Click on the link above to learn more about it. It is divided into 9 levels, but it is likely that we will mainly use levels 1 (“European legal system”) and 4 (“Internal policy of the EU”).

There are two other modifications that have been made on the request of our members. On the one hand, there is the extension of the expiry period of a session (“the timeout”) for those that enter or modify data in JuriFast. It is now 60 minutes. This will avoid having to reconnect to the website too frequently.

On the other hand, the flags that appear to the left of the inputs in JuriFast will now always represent the country having issued the original decision, even if a decision has been taken later at the European level. The European flag, which was a source of confusion in this regard, will not be used any longer.

Remember, the Jurifast RSS feed can be obtained at the following address: (possibility to subscribe to an RSS feed).


The forum of ACA-Europe presently has 211 members from 37 institutions. Since the general meeting in Prague, 7 new collective questions have been asked and 15 countries actively participated by providing 54 responses: Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Estonia, France, Ireland, Cyprus, Spain, Finland and Serbia. The following subjects have been discussed:

  • Review of tariffs approved by national regulatory bodies
  • Questions concerning article 12(2) Directive 2011/95/EU
  • Counter-appeal in the court of cassation instance
  • Inviting third parties to participate in court proceedings
  • Judicial institutions on social networks
  • Asylum and subsidiary protection - Directive 2001/18/EC
  • Genetically modified organisms

Access to the forum is reserved for the members of ACA-Europe, who can register for it at the following address:

Tour of Europe

The Europe tour presents an analysis of the organisational systems of the administrative justice in the Member States of the European Union as well as in Turkey through 76 questions. This information is still being updated. The member courts that are yet to update their data are asked to do so.

Modifications after the updating operation are also welcome and are to be notified to the General Secretariat.

Contact address:


The library of administrative law of the European Union has recently received two new contributions from the Council of State of France.

They are available in French and English on the Association’s website.

A third contribution will also be available soon.

Each institution can certainly send articles related to the administrative law and the law of the European Union to the following address:

Judge Exchange

Like every year, the ACA-Europe can have 12 judges from its member institutions complete a 12-day work experience placement at any other institution among them. The 2016 exchanges are underway and some reports have already been uploaded on the association’s website:

Contact address:

Member News

Czech Republic

Following the Prague conference, the Administrative court will have an almanac published shortly which will include the general reports of the work taken up on this occasion.

On 7 September 2016, the governments of the Member States of the European Union appointed fourteen judges to the General Court of the European Union and an Advocate-General to the Court of justice. Jan Passer, judge at the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic, has been appointed for a term ending on 31 August 2019. Jan Passer has taken oath on 19 September and is allocated to the 8th chamber.

ACA News

Discussions - Commissioner Jourová

On 19 September 2016, a delegation of ACA-Europe, comprising Mr K. Rennert, the President of the Federal Administrative Court of Germany, C. Günther, Judge at the German Federal Administrative Court, R. Visser, Secretary of the Council of State of the Netherlands, R. van der Veer, Adviser to the Vice-President of the Council of State of the Netherlands and E. Thibaut, Deputy Secretary General, met Mrs V. Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice. The subjects discussed included the independence and quality of the judicial systems.

Budget 2016 & 2017 Grant

Budget 2016 is being normally implemented. All the planned activities will be implemented.

On 3 November 2017, the General Secretariat submitted the 2017 grant application to the departments of the European Commission. The budget of the Association for 2017 is 468,000 Euros, 80% of which is financed by the budget of the European Union. The European Commission’s approval is expected by January or February 2017.

Inside ACA-Europe

The members of the General Secretariat of ACA-Europe are delighted to announce the birth of Lisse on 6 September 2016, daughter of Mrs Veerle Vertongen, project manager at the General Secretariat for many years. Both mother and baby are healthy and doing well!

In this issue



Rule of law



Tour of Europe


Judge Exchanges

Member News


ACA News


23 & 24 March 2017


Seminar in Ljubljana, Slovenia – Administrative penalties

15 & 16 May 2017


Seminar and General Assembly in The Hague, The Netherlands – Better law-making

September 2017


Seminar in Warsaw, Poland – Law on Migration and Refugees

Spring 2018


• Seminar in Tartu, Estonia – Fair trial


On Monday, October 10th, 2016, a second meeting of the working group on the topic of the “unification of administrative jurisprudence” was held at the Belgian Council of State in Brussels. The working group was comprised of Ms. Mylène Bernabeu, Mr. Jacek Chlebny, Mr. Frank Clarke, Mr. Auke Kuipers, Mr. Ales Rostočil, Ms. Susanne Rublack, Ms. Viola van Dijk, Mr. Geert Debersaques and Mr. Joris Casneuf.

A questionnaire was drafted at this occasion. This questionnaire is based on the contributions that the participants of the working group had prepared on the topics that had been assigned to them on the previous meeting of the group, on July, 5th, 2016.

The questionnaire has been distributed among the members of the Association on November 26th. The deadline for participation in the study is Friday, December 23th, 2016. The working group will meet on December 12th, 2016.

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Funded by the Justice programme of the European Union