Paris, 6 December 2021

On 23 May 2022, the Italian Council of State and ACA-Europe organised the seminar “Techniques for the protection of private subjects in contrast with public authorities: actions and remedies - liability and compliance” in Rome, Italy.


It allowed us to take a further important step towards the "ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe", a very forward-looking objective of the Treaties of Rome.  Thanks to the replies given to the questionnaire, it has been possible:

  • to identify the actions which may be brought before administrative courts, the sources of the rules governing them;
  • to focus on acts challenged, contents of judicial decisions and its modulation (partial annulment, substitution of the measure and shaping of subsequent administrative action; action for an order for damages, action for an order for the release of the measure);
  • to investigate which "differentiated" procedural rules are provided for in legal national systems, with a special focus on spheres and matters of "differentiated" procedural rules aimed to protect "sensitive" interests or relevant "economic-social" impact or to simplify and speed-up judicial protection.

The three sessions of the Rome Seminar made possible to clarify even better the difference between the so-called "descending subsidiarity" and "ascending subsidiarity".

The Court of Justice of the European Union in its judgment of 6 October 2021 in Case C-561/2019, Consorzio Italian Management, recalling important principles relating to the obligation to refer for a preliminary ruling, reiterated that the national court, faced with doubts as to the interpretation of European Union law, must verify the actual or presumed attitude of the other interpreters in the various Member States of the Union, also in the light of the numerous language versions of Community legislation.

The Court of Justice itself drew attention to the desirability of extending the horizontal dialogue between national courts, which is all the more useful when European Union law could lend itself to differences of interpretation within the various legal systems.

Hence another reason for strengthening and implementing the so-called "ascending subsidiarity": the harmonisation of the legal systems of the Member States that comes from the individual institutions and, in particular, from the Courts, through their daily work of interpreting national laws in a Euro-unitary perspective, through their ability to extract guiding principles from the Treaties and the Charter of Nice.

A further step to promote mutual knowledge and constructive debate between the Supreme Administrative Courts of Europe in accordance with the ambition, repeatedly stated, to develop, while respecting national specificities, a homogeneous method of protecting the rights (and of enlightening the duties) of individuals and companies in their relations with the public authorities.

We got to the “core” of the protections of rights and procedural systems existing in each of our countries and we made all together a kind of journey through the administrative process of the Member States.

In a few lines, it is impossible to make the complexity and depth of this journey, but the general report is the “vademecum” that each of us will be able to consult whenever he needs to understand how a certain right is protected in any of the Member States.