Name, seat, objectives
An association named “Association of the Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union”, abbreviated “ACA-Europe”, hereafter “the Association”, is established as an international non-profit association, governed by the Belgian Law.
The registered office of the Association is at the Council of State of Belgium, rue de la Science 33, 1040 Brussels, located in the Brussels-Capital Region.
(1) The purpose of the Association is to foster the dialogue among its members by promoting exchanges of views and experience on matters concerning the jurisprudence, organization and functioning of its members in the performance of their judicial and/or advisory functions, particularly with regard to European Union Law.
(2) Within this framework and within its financial limits the Association may among others:
- initiate or promote studies and publish a review or juridical collections;
- organize colloquia, seminars and meetings on a regular basis;
- promote and organize education and training, including exchanges, of judges among its members;
- promote, making available and/or facilitate electronic communication channels and establish a databank in order to exchange relevant information.
The Association may engage in any activity that directly or indirectly contributes to the realization of the abovementioned disinterested objective of international benefit.
(3) Every second year in principle, the Association shall organize a colloquium to consider matters falling within its terms of reference.
(4) Recognizing each other’s independence, the Association shall promote contacts and exchanges of information between its members, observers, and guests and with the European Union authorities.
(5) The Association shall set up a website that integrates reports and conclusions produced during the colloquia and seminars. The board may admit any information of the members relevant to the purpose of the Association to be published on the website.
Members, observers, and guests
(1) The Association consists of
(2) Members, observers, and guests shall have all the rights and obligations set out in the ‘Belgian Companies and Associations Code’ (BCAC) and these statutes. As such, members, observers, and guests shall not be liable for the obligations of the Association.
(1) The following can be members of the Association:
- the Court of Justice of the European Union;
- the Supreme Jurisdictions and the Councils of State of the member States of the European Union which are empowered to adjudicate in the final instance in disputes concerning the activities of public administrative bodies or which are acting in an all-round legal advisory capacity as far as the drawing up of normative texts is concerned.
(2) The founder members were:
|for the European Union||:||the Court of Justice of the European Communities|
|for Austria||:||the Administrative Court|
|for Belgium||:||the Council of State|
|for Denmark||:||the Supreme Court|
|for Finland||:||the Supreme Administrative Court|
|for France||:||the Council of State|
|for Germany||:||the Federal Administrative Court|
|for Greece||:||the Council of State|
|for Ireland||:||the Supreme Court|
|for Italy||:||the Council of State|
|for Luxembourg||:||the Council of State and the Administrative Court|
|for the Netherlands||:||the Council of State|
|for Portugal||:||the Supreme Administrative Court|
|for Spain||:||the Supreme Court|
|for Sweden||:||the Supreme Administrative Court|
|for the United Kingdom||:||the Supreme Court|
(3) Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 5 (4), 5 (5), 5 (6), and 6 (3), decisions concerning the admission as member are made by the general assembly.
(4) There shall not be more than two members from each State.
When a State has only one member in the Association, this member is entitled to suggest to the general assembly that another institution of its State which meets the criteria referred to in Article 5 (1) No. 2 is invited to the deliberations of the Association.
At its request, the invited institution automatically becomes a member of the Association.
(5) If in a member State of the European Union the judicial and/or advisory role referred to in Article 5 (1) No. 2 of a current member is fully transferred to another institution, the membership of such member shall expire.
If it so requests, the other institution shall automatically become a member.
(6) If a member State of the European Union withdraws from the European Union, the membership of the judicial and/or advisory institutions of such State shall expire ipso jure on the date when the member State ceases to be a member of the EU. Article 8 (4) applies mutatis mutandis.
If it so requests, the former member shall automatically become a guest.
(1) The jurisdictions and Councils of State similarly empowered of States which are engaged in negotiations with a view to their actually joining the European Union can be admitted as observers.
(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of article 7 (3), decisions concerning the admission as observer are made by the general assembly.
(3) As soon as the State to which it belongs has joined the European Union, the observer becomes automatically a member of the Association, if it so requests.
(1) The European jurisdictions and Councils of State similarly empowered which do apply European Union Law but do not meet the criteria to be admitted as member or observer may, if they so request, be admitted as guests.
(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of article 5 (6), decisions concerning the admission as guest are made by the general assembly and taken by a majority of two thirds of the members present.
(3) As soon as the State is engaged in negotiations with a view to its actually joining the European Union, the guest, if it so requests, becomes automatically an observer.
(1) Every member, observer or guest may withdraw from the Association by sending a written notification to the formal address of the Association.
The secretary general shall inform all members, observers and guests of this decision.
The withdrawal will take effect on the first day of the month following the receipt of the withdrawal letter.
(2) The membership, including the members’ right to vote, of the members, observers, and guests who do not pay their membership fee for two subsequent years within the time limit set by the board in a written notification shall be suspended by the board.
The decision requires a two-thirds majority of the board members present.
The suspension ends automatically when the fee is completely paid.
(3) Decisions concerning the exclusion of members, observers, and guests are made by the general assembly and require a two-thirds majority of the members present. The exclusion must be indicated in the convocation of the general assembly. The institution whose exclusion is proposed shall be informed of the reasons by the president. It has to be heard by the general assembly before the decision.
(4) A member, observer, or guest who withdraws or is excluded from the Association has no right to its assets.
(1) The general assembly has power to do anything instrumental to achieving the purpose of the Association.
(2) The general assembly is composed of all the members. Each of them has one vote. When a State has two members in the Association, they shall nevertheless have only one vote between them. If they do not agree their vote will be regarded as an abstention.
(3) Observers and guests attend the general assembly with a consultative voice.
(1) The general assembly meets by right once a year. The meeting shall be held during the second quarter of the calendar year. The board shall schedule the date and place of the meeting and the agenda on the president's suggestion.
The meeting of the general assembly can be, and every second year should be, combined with a colloquium according to article 3 (3).
The convocation, enclosing the agenda, is sent by the secretary general at least fifteen days prior to the date of the general assembly to all members, observers, and guests at the address communicated to the secretary general for that purpose. It can be sent by e-mail. There should be an informal announcement (“save the date”) as soon as possible.
(2) The general assembly has a quorum if half of the members are present. With regard to elections of the board, the general assembly shall have authority to take decisions without a quorum being required, provided this was stipulated in the convocation.
Decisions are taken by simple majority of the valid votes of the members present, except when the BCAC or these statutes provide otherwise. Invalid votes and abstentions shall not be counted. In the event of a tied vote, the proposal shall be deemed rejected. Elections require an absolute majority of the members present.
(3) Representatives of other European judicial associations shall by discretion of the board be invited to attend the general assembly.
(4) In exceptional cases, and in accordance with Article 10:7/1 of the BCAC, the board may provide for the possibility of remote participation in the general assembly by means of an electronic communication made available by the Association.
(5) Without prejudice to the right of consultation provided for in article 3:103 BCAC, minutes are prepared of all general assemblies and sent to all members, observers, and guests.
(1) The Association shall be administered by a board.
(2) The board may take any measure required for the functioning of the Association in the interval between the meetings of the general assembly.
(3) The board can determine an internal regulation.
(1) The board shall comprise:
- the president of the Association,
- two vice-presidents,
- the representative appointed by the president of the Court of Justice of the European Union,
- the secretary general,
- two commissioners,
- the auditor.
In order to ensure good co-ordination with the deliberations of the International Association of Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions and subject to reciprocity, the secretary general of that association is invited to meetings of the board which he may attend with a consultative voice.
The board may invite other persons to share its deliberations with a consultative voice.
(2) The president and the vice-presidents are elected by the general assembly for a period of two years. The president is, in principle, the president of the jurisdiction or Council of State which is organizing the colloquium referred to in Article 3 (3). The two vice-presidents are, in principle, the presidents of the jurisdiction or Council of State which has organized the last colloquium and of the institution which is going to organize the next colloquium.
(3) The secretary general, the commissioners and the auditor are elected by the general assembly for a period of two years. They may be re-elected. The commissioners and the auditor may be elected no more than four times in total. They may not belong to the same institution as the president or the two vice-presidents.
(4) Without prejudice to the provisions made in Article 19 (5), the auditor examines the activities of the Association and reports to the general assembly.
(1) The board is presided by the president, in case of his or her absence by the vice-president who is appointed to organize the next colloquium ("coming president").
(2) The board shall meet at least once a year and whenever convened by the president.
The quorum of the board shall be at least half of its members.
Decisions are taken by a majority of the present members of the board except these statutes provide otherwise. In the case of an equality of votes the president's vote shall prevail.
(3) The president may provide for the possibility of remote participation in the board by means of an electronic means of communication made available by the Association. In this case the board meeting shall be organized under the same conditions as laid down in Article 10 (4).
(4) In emergencies or when the minor importance of the issue under consideration does not justify calling a meeting of the board, the president or the secretary general are authorized to ask for the written agreement of the members of the board.
(5) Minutes of all meetings and of all decisions shall be sent to all members, observers and guests of the Association.
(1) The secretary general shall be in charge of the general secretariat of the Association.
(2) The secretary general is in particular responsible for the following tasks:
- he shall set up and manage the data bank referred to in Article 3 (2) and the website referred to in Article 3 (5);
- he shall promote and co-ordinate activities relating to the development of the studies referred to in Article 3 (2) and activities relating to the exchange of experience such as training courses;
- he shall suggest themes for the colloquiums or other meetings of the Association;
- he shall organize the remote participation in meetings of the general assembly and the board as provided for by these statutes, and in other reunions as far as remote participation is deemed necessary;
- he shall attempt to strengthen the ties between members, observers, and guests as well as with the European Union Authorities;
- he is responsible for the everyday management of the Association.
(3) The general assembly shall determine the remuneration of the secretary general.
(4) The secretary-general reports to the board about the staff of the secretariat and their remuneration.
(1) Every document binding the Association shall, unless there be express authority of the board for someone else to sign, be signed by the president or the secretary general who will not have to justify to outsiders the powers they have been granted to this end.
(2) The board, represented by the secretary general, shall have the sole right to institute, defend and have conduct of all judicial actions concerning the Association.
(1) The working languages of the Association are English and French. All documents produced at the Association's expense shall be prepared in these languages.
(2) Each member, observer, and guest shall be free to have ACA-Europe documents and other data translated to their own local language at their own costs.
Finances, budget and accounts
The assets of the Association shall comprise:
- subscriptions from members, observers, and guests;
- grants made by the European Commission;
- such gifts and grants as may be made by members or by any public or private person or institution, as are accepted by the board, and, as regards to gifts, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 10:11 BCAC;
- receipts resulting from the activities of the Association.
(1) The general assembly shall determine the amounts of the members’, observers’ and guests’ subscriptions.
(2) Several members, observers or guests from one State shall jointly pay one subscription.
(1) The financial year of the Association runs from 1st January to 31st December.
(2) The board approves the budget of the following financial year and, if need be, carries out adjustments of the budget of the current financial year.
(3) In accordance with article 3:47, § 1 BCAC, the board settles up annual accounts each year. The annual accounts, as well as the budget for the financial year following the financial year to which these annual accounts refer, must be submitted to the general assembly for approval within six months of the closing date of the financial year.
(4) The board shall draw up an inventory every year according to the valuation rules laid down in the Belgian law and shall draw up the annual accounts referred to in Article 19 (3) in the form and with the content laid down in Belgian law.
(5) As soon as the Association falls under the application of Article 3:47, § 6 BCAC for the last closed financial year, the general assembly must appoint from among the members of the Institute of Company Auditors an auditor charged with verifying the financial situation, the annual accounts and the regularity of the transactions, in the light of the law and the statutes, which must be established in the annual accounts. Article 12 (4) will apply as well.
Dissolution of the Association
(1) Upon a corresponding motion submitted by the board, the general assembly may decide to dissolve the Association with a two-thirds majority of the members present, provided that this was indicated in the convocation. At least two thirds of all members must be present. If more than one third of the members are absent from the assembly without being excused, the board may immediately call a new general assembly which will have authority to take decisions without a quorum being required.
(2) In the event of a dissolution of the Association, the general assembly shall decide on the transfer of the Association’s assets to a similar institution.
The general assembly may amend the statutes with a two-thirds majority vote of all members, provided this was indicated in the convocation.
Transitory and final provisions
On 31st of May, 2021, guests are:
- the Supreme Court of Norway;
- the Federal Court of Switzerland;
- the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
The count pursuant to Article 12 (3) Sentence 3 shall commence for the first time with the election in 2021.
(1) These statutes have been accepted by the general assembly at Leipzig on 31st of May, 2021. They shall be published on the website of the Association.
(2) The secretary general or the notary shall submit these statutes to the King of the Belgians for approval and ensure completion of the publication formalities at the clerk’s office of the Company Court at the seat of the Association, according to Belgian law. If necessary or useful, he may grant special power to the Belgian civil-law notary.
(3) The statutes gain power starting May 31st, 2021 and are opposable towards third parties starting from their publication according to Article 24 (2). At the same time, the former statutes of the Association expire. The date of the publication according to Article 24 (2) shall be added to the publication on the website of the Association, too.
Leipzig, 31st of May, 2021