The Supreme Administrative Court Becomes the President of the Association of the Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union

During the Presidency period from 27 June 2023 to 28 May 2025, a total of six seminars will be organised, two of them in Finland. The Presidency rotates between the member courts of the Association. The Presidency was transferred to the Supreme Administrative Court from Italy's highest administrative court, the Consiglio di Stato.

ACA-Europe's activities focus on analysing and raising awareness of the implementation of European Union law, which falls under the jurisdiction of the supreme administrative courts. Its task is to ensure the uniform application of European Union law within the territory of the European Union. Participation in ACA-Europe’s activities plays a key role in upholding the European rule of law as a whole.

During the Italian Presidency, which has just recently come to an end, the focus of ACA-Europe was on comparing the activities of the highest national administrative courts. During Finland's Presidency, the focus will be on the dialogue between the Supreme Administrative Courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union, as well as on the national effects of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. The viewpoint is shifting from horizontal to vertical, says Kari Kuusiniemi, President of the Supreme Administrative Court.

During its two-year term, the Presiding Court will prepare the themes for the ACA-Europe seminars. The Supreme Administrative Court has prepared the programme for the Presidency in cooperation with the Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden. During the Presidency seminars will also be organised by the highest administrative courts in Croatia, France and the Netherlands.

It is with joy and great hopes for good discussion that I look forward to the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court's hosting of the first seminar during the Finnish presidency of ACA-Europe. It will take place in Stockholm from 9 to 10 October and focus on how the national administrative courts deal with the preliminary rulings system of the European Court of Justice, says Helena Jäderblom, President of the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court.

Priorities of the Presidency

One of the key themes of the seminars during the Presidency will be the analysis of national court rulings in relation to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights.

Emphasis is placed on preliminary ruling procedures before national courts, such as the consideration of a reference for a preliminary ruling and the enforcement of a ruling. We will also examine the application of European case-law in cases where a reference for a preliminary ruling is not considered necessary. The advisory opinion procedure of the European Court of Human Rights will also be considered as a new dimension, Kuusiniemi emphasises.

Another important theme of the Presidency is the impact of the national constitution on the decisions of each country's supreme court. The aim is, among other things, to assess whether the Constitution has the same interpretative effect as EU directives.

ACA-Europe in a Nutshell

The Association of Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union (ACA-Europe) was established in 2001. It also includes the supreme courts of the United Kingdom, Norway and Switzerland as guests and the supreme courts of Albania, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey as observers in administrative justice matters. In addition to the Court of Justice of the European Union, the ACA-Europe network comprises 34 European countries.

The aim of the Association is to promote the understanding of European Union law and the functioning of other administrative courts in Europe in the application of European Union law within their jurisdiction by judges of the European Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions. ACA-Europe organises seminars and conducts research on case-law. Activities also include a programme for the exchange of judges and the maintenance of a public database of decisions of the member courts relating to European Union law. The secretariat of the association is located in Brussels, Belgium.

Further information

Programme of the Finnish Presidency
Website of the ACA-Europe Association

Contact details

Jaana Lappalainen, Head of Communications, Supreme Administrative Court, tel. +358 50 308 7574, [email protected]

Published 27.6.2023