e-News 2019/2



Photograph: Michael Moser

Dear colleagues,

Our second ACA-Europe seminar of 2019 took place in Berlin in May. Taking up the central topic of this year’s seminars, including the one in Dublin in March and the one in Brno in September, we focused on questions concerning the functioning of our courts. The aim of this is, among other things, to strengthen the horizontal exchange between the national courts. We want to constantly improve our mutual understanding of the jurisprudence of our European partners.

This goal is also promoted by other instruments of ACA-Europe, including the database JuriFast. It does not only contain jurisprudence regarding preliminary ruling procedures before the Court of Justice of the European Union but also other national decisions of relevance to EU law. The summaries of national decisions in English and French as well as the open access make the database unique in its kind.

However, it is necessary to adapt JuriFast to the state-of-the-art information technology. In addition, the database should be brought more into line with the new “Judicial Network of the European Union”. That is why the Board has set up a working group that has just started its work with a view to reforming JuriFast. We would like to highlight the unique role of JuriFast in terms of publishing national jurisprudence and it is our aim to avoid duplication of work in relation to the Court of Justice of the European Union wherever possible. At the same time, we need to improve the usability of JuriFast. In this context, a number of steps concerning a better appearance and an increased ease of use of JuriFast have been taken. In the future, JuriFast is intended to motivate national judges more than hitherto to take into account the decisions of their European colleagues and, at best, to learn from them.

In the course of this year, the working group will conduct a survey among all JuriFast correspondents of the member courts in order to assess the user needs and to respond to them in the most efficient way. The working group will then put its results up for discussion at the seminar on legal documentation which will be held in Leipzig in April 2020. Afterwards, their recommendations will be presented to the Board and the General Assembly of ACA-Europe in May 2020.

I am absolutely convinced that JuriFast, as it exists now, is already a great benefit for our daily work and that this benefit will be even greater in the future. If you are not yet using it regularly, discover the benefits for yourself: Just give it a try!

With kind regards

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Rennert
President of ACA-Europe,
President of the Federal Administrative Court of Germany


On 13 May 2019, the ACA seminar on the functions of and access to Supreme Administrative Courts was held in Berlin, Germany. ACA-Europe has received 29 national reports. All national reports, as well as the questionnaire and the general report, have been published on the ACA-Europe website. Read more....


These decisions have been selected for you:


In this case, the administrative Court submits three preliminary questions to the European Court of Justice.

The facts are as follows: a Turkish national wanted to join her husband in Germany. She had not, however, proved sufficient knowledge of the German language. Moreover, she had entered Germany with a Schengen visa but not a national visa.

The administrative Court allowed the lawsuit against this decision. The opinion was that the two grounds of rejection could not be held against the plaintiff taking into consideration the standstill clauses provided for by Article 13 ARB 1/80 and Article 7 ARB 2/76.

Following the appeal brought before it, the administrative Court will ask three questions relating to the conformity of the requirement of a national visa with the standstill clause of Article 7 mentioned above. It also wonders about the extent of the replacement of this standstill clause by that provided for in Article 13 ARB 1/80.

It also asks the Court of Justice about the justification, in the public interest, of the regulations requiring a national visa for non-EU nationals, as part of a family reunion.


This is a decision of the Council of State following a response from the Court of Justice of the European Union to a preliminary question previously asked by the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State.

The question referred for a preliminary ruling was whether the requirement to pass the civic integration test as a condition for the granting of a residence permit is in accordance with the Family Reunification Directive.

Following the answers provided by the Court of Justice in judgments C-257/17 and C-484/17 of 7 November 2018, the Council of State considers that it may, under certain circumstances, be disproportionate to maintain the requirement laid down in the Dutch Aliens Decree 2000 that the civic integration exam must have been passed in order to be eligible for an autonomous residence permit.


This case concerns a Dutch national who also has Moroccan nationality. The appellant was declared undesirable after he was sentenced in absentia for his contributions to the armed jihadi combat in Syria and Iraq. The Dutch nationality was withdrawn on the basis of an amendment to the Netherlands Nationality Act in 2017. However, the Council of State established that this amendment did not have retroactive effect and that the decision did not make clear that the national was still affiliated with a ‘forbidden organisation’ at the moment the act was amended.

This case falls within the scope of EU law; because the withdrawal of Dutch nationality in this case also means that the appellant loses the status of Union citizen as meant in Art. 20, § 1 TFEU.

Another question arose as to the conformity of the normal notification procedure with Art. 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The issue of limiting the right to be heard is also addressed in this judgment to which we refer you.


The Council of State of France has judged that a transfer decision made against a third-country national who has lodged an application for asylum with the French authorities, the examination of which resting with another Member State having accepted to take charge of it, is sufficiently reasoned when it mentions Regulation (EC) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013. It must also contain an indication of the facts making it possible to identify the criterion of the applied Regulation. Thus, in the present case, it was considered that the transfer decision was sufficiently reasoned when it refers to the consultation of the Eurodac file without further specification. This motivation falls under the criterion of Article 13 of the Regulation mentioned above.

In the case of the criterion set out in Article 9 of the Regulation, it is sufficient to mention that one parent has been recognized as a refugee in another Member State.

In the case of an alien who has made a request for asylum in another Member State, the transfer decision is sufficiently reasoned when it refers to the Regulation and states that the applicant has previously submitted an application for asylum in the State concerned (application of Article 18, §1, b, c or d).

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 192 members from 34 institutions.

Since the last e-news, 3 new collective questions have been asked and 7 countries actively participated by providing 9 responses: Germany, Austria, Estonia, France, Latvia, Netherlands and Poland.

The following subjects have been discussed:

  • Language comparison of EU-law provisions (1 response)
  • Interpretation of article 12(4) of Regulation 604/2013 (Dublin Regulation) (2 responses)
  • Article 16(1) Directive 2003/86/EC (Family Reunification) (6 responses)

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 Tour of Europe provides an analysis, in 76 points, on how the administrative justice system is organised in the different Member States of the European Union and Turkey.

In order to obtain the objectives, defined in the specific agreement between ACA-Europe and the European Commission, within the scope of the subvention granted by the European Union, members which have not updated the available information since 2009 are warmly invited to do so by contacting the ACA-Europe team at the following email address:

Subsequent changes to the updated versions are also welcome.

Judge Exchange

This year, the ACA-Europe Judge Exchange Programme was a resounding success with 30 applications submitted to the General Secretariat. Since the programme budget can only fund 18 exchanges, the Board and the General Assembly in Berlin have decided to refine the Paris criteria for a more predictable, transparent and fair selection process between candidates and jurisdictions.

In addition, the General Assembly suggests, on the basis of the results of the survey conducted by the General Secretariat for interns in the year 2018, to the host jurisdictions to submit documentation concerning its functioning before the beginning of the internship.

Contact address:

ACA News

Presidency 2020-2022

Mr. Patroni Griffi, President of the Italian Council of State, elaborated the programme for the Italian presidency of ACA Europe during the period 2020 – 2022 in a letter addressed to Mr. Rennert, President of ACA-Europe. This programme is entitled “The role of judges in the process of European integration: horizontal dialogue among the supreme administrative national courts”. The focus of the Italian presidency will be on “horizontal dialogue”, a level of dialogue consistent with the ACA-Europe DNA of promoting mutual knowledge and a productive debate among Administrative Supreme Courts of Europe, in order to create a common judicial culture. The purpose of the presidency will be to enhance and foster the value and the experience of horizontal dialogue within the national Supreme Administrative Courts.

In general, the agenda of the Italian presidency is known. Check out our website!

Dissemination of the ACA-E-news

In order to obtain the objectives, defined in the specific agreement between ACA-Europe and the European Commission, within the scope of the subvention granted by the European Union, ACA-Europe was asked to develop a strategy for broader dissemination of the ACA-Europe newsletter.

In this regard, many of you have provided us with the contact details of the national administrative courts to which we can send the e-bulletin.

To those who have not (yet) done so, we would like to ask to forward this e-news to all administrative courts in their country.

We greatly appreciate your help in expanding our network!

Working group "Better regulaton"

Mr. Rob Visser, chairman of the working group, presented a general report, containing the results of the work, to the general assembly in Berlin on 14 May 2019. The working group also sent a letter to the EC, adapted to the comments of the members of ACA-Europe.

The working group is planning another meeting in Rome in autumn.

In this issue





Tour of Europe

Judge Exchange


ACA News


9 September 2019


Seminar in Brno, Czech Republic – Limits of judicial guarantee

23-24 April 2020


Seminar in Leipzig, Germany – Legal documentation

10-12 May 2020


General Assembly and Colloquium in Leipzig, Germany – ReNEAUL II

19 October 2020


Seminar in Fiesole, Italy – Law, Courts and guidelines for the public administration

For a complete overview of the calendar, see our website.

Analysis 2018-2019

At the time of ACA-Europe’s application for a three-year grant addressed to the European Commission, the Association was invited to propose to conduct an annual survey on the collection, analysis, exchange and dissemination of information, good practices and recommendations on various topics of EU law.

For 2018, the Board opted to contribute to the ‘EU justice scoreboard’ (“administrative justice” component) on the topic of “Quality of judgments”. The results were presented during the session of the General Assembly in The Hague on the 14th of May 2019, and were published on our website. All documents are free to use.

For 2019, the board has opted to continue contributing to the EU justice scoreboard, with a “Qualitative and Quantitative Review of the 2019 seminars.” The three 2019 seminars deal directly with the working methods of judicial officials and the functions of (supreme) administrative courts. It would appear vitally important to understand these working methods and these functions, so that their efficacy can be evaluated. In view of these, the three 2019 seminars enabled, and indeed still enable, research to be carried out into certain key aspects of the judicial work of ACA members. The seminars examined questions relating to working methods, such as the preparation of hearings, deliberations, or the use of support staff. The focus was also on the functions of supreme administrative courts, the possible forms of decisions, systems relating to work load and filtering, the structure of administrative justice, as well as its cost, and the cost of and access to justice or exclusion from access to justice.

From the questionnaires produced to facilitate preparations for the seminars, only a few statistical data were gathered. However, it became clear in the course of the seminars that numerous aspects of our daily routine must be considered in the light of statistical data. For example, the workload of a court may only be measured if one also knows the jurisdiction of the court, the number of judges, the number of inhabitants of the member State, etc. Some information may only be fully understood when considered alongside these data. Under these circumstances, cross-sectional analysis should be based upon the results and insights obtained from the 2019 seminars, with the added factor of data that proved essential for the understanding of the judicial work of a judge.

A first meeting of the working group on this topic is planned for the month of June.

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