e-News 2023/1



Dear Colleagues,

Having assumed my official duties as President of the Council of State, and therefore as President of the ACA-Europe, I would first of all like to thank all those who sent their heartfelt condolences on the death of the former President Franco Frattini. Be assured that I also conveyed your condolences to his family.

Franco leaves an unfillable void and my commitment will be to continue his extraordinary work undertaken as President of the Council of State and as President of ACA-Europe.

In this spirit, I would like to take this opportunity to recall, that the ACA Europe seminar, held at the Tribunal Supremo in Madrid on 20 November 2022, focusing on the use of general principles by administrative judges, allowed a highly beneficial discussion and exchange of experience; particularly, on the ways in which general principles of law are recalled in the various European States as a tool to supplement the regulatory environment in order to fill any gaps as well as to ensure full and effective protection of fundamental rights.

The Madrid Seminar, therefore, introduced the topic of the full and effective protection of fundamental rights including through the application of general principles. This theme will be further developed at the Colloquium in Naples from 25 to 27 June 2023, when the focus will be ‘the protection of social rights’, and which will conclude the two-year Italian Presidency.

Confident that I’m expressing the same words that Franco Frattini would have expressed, I would therefore like to offer my sincere thanks to the President of the Tribunal Supremo, Francisco Marín Castán and the President of the Tercera Sala, Cesar Tolosa Tribiño, for the excellent contribution they made to the Italian Presidency, including through their impeccable organisation of the Seminar in Madrid.

All this would not have been possible without the invaluable work of the General Secretariat, which, also in its dealings with the European Commission, was able to enhance all aspects of our Association’s activities and to provide excellent support to the work of the Glossary and the Transversal Analysis groups. Of course, the Glossary and the Transversal analysis groups also focus on topics related to seminars, in a perspective of mutual benefit.

The next Seminar, to be held in Riga on 27 April 2023, will also be of considerable interest because we will have the opportunity to discuss a topic of great importance: the inertia of Public Administration. The examination will focus on the discipline of silence in the various Member States, with particular reference to ‘significant silences’ (acceptance and rejection) as a simplification tool, and on the protection of interested parties.

Dear colleagues, in opening this year of Aca-Europe's activities, it only remains for me to express my wish to meet you in person soon.

Luigi Maruottii
President of ACA-Europe
President of the Council of State of Italy

Seminars and Colloquia

Looking back on the past year, we look back on two very inspiring seminars.

Most recently, a seminar on “The application of principles and general clauses in the jurisprudence of administrative courts” was held on the 21st of November 2022 at Palacio de Justicia, seat of the Supreme Court of the Kingdom of Spain, in Madrid.

The web summary of this interesting seminar, as well as the general report and 29 national reports are now available on the association’s website.

Another seminar during the course of last year, which was also greatly enjoyed by our attendees, was the Rome seminar on “Techniques for the protection of private subjects in contrast with public authorities: actions and remedies - liability and compliance”. The seminar allowed us to take a further important step towards the “ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe”, as an objective of the Treaties of Rome. We are delighted to announce that the web summary is now available on the association’s website, alongside the general report, which was published earlier.

As we look forward to the upcoming year, on 27 April 2022, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia in cooperation with ACA-Europe will organize a seminar at the premises of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia in Riga, which will address “The judge and inert administration. Administrative discretionary power”.

The seminar will be an in-person event. During the seminar, the issue of inert administration and the role and competence of the courts in this regard will be examined. The inaction or silence of the authorities and its consequences affect the rights of individuals no less significantly than the administrative actions or administrative acts of the authorities. While institutional silence is mainly related to the managerial aspects of public administration, it also interacts and correlates with legal aspects, such as principles of legal certainty, good administration and the prohibition of arbitrariness.

The questionnaire, general report and 33 national reports are now available on the association’s website. The French version of the general report will be published shortly, whereas the English one is already available.


The following decisions have been selected for you:


Judgment of November 16, 2022

This judgment concerns the disclosure of information about the crash of Flight MH17 over Ukraine in July 2014.

This is the second reference for a preliminary ruling in this case.

In this case, the Minister wants to keep secret information about the safety of air traffic at Schiphol airport, which was requested by a broadcasting organization (AVROTOS). This aggregated information comes from a database based on the "special" disclosure regulation (EU) 376/2014.

The Council of State of the Netherlands therefore referred a question to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling (Case C-707/22) in order to find out (inter alia) whether, in light of the right to freedom of expression and information enshrined in Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, this type of general information falls within the concept of "details of occurences" in Article 15(1) of the Regulation, under which no data received from reported events may be disclosed.


Judgment of July 27, 2022

This judgment concerns a refusal of VAT exemption for the activities of a sports association.

The applicant is a private law association whose object is the maintenance and promotion of golf. To this end, it operates a golf course and related facilities, which it rents to a company. In 2011, the applicant received income from various activities. The tax authorities refused to exempt these activities from VAT. It considered that only the registration fees for golf events are exempt provided that the applicant is a public benefit organisation.

The Administrative Court held that, although the services in question were not exempt under national law, they were indeed exempt as a direct consequence of Article 132(1)(m) of Directive 2006/112/EC. In the course of the appeal proceedings, the Federal Finance Court (BFH) expressed doubts about this interpretation of EU law. According to the BFH, the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) would mean that no direct effect would be associated with Article 132(1)(m) of Directive 2006/112/EC. The BFH stayed the proceedings and submitted the following questions to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling (C-488/18):

1. Does Article 132(1)(m) of [the VAT Directive], under which Member States are to exempt “the supply of certain services closely linked to sport or physical education by non-profit-making organisations to persons taking part in sport or physical education”, have direct effect, with the result that, in the absence of transposition, that provision may be relied on directly by non-profit-making organisations?

2. If the first question is answered in the affirmative: Is “non-profit-making organisation” within the meaning of Article 132(1)(m) of the VAT Directive

- a concept that must be interpreted under EU law autonomously, or

- are the Member States authorised to make the existence of such an organisation subject to conditions such as Paragraph 52, in conjunction with Paragraph 55, of the AO (or Paragraph 51 et seq. of the AO in their entirety)?

3. If it is a concept that must be interpreted under EU law autonomously: Must a non-profit-making organisation within the meaning of Article 132(1)(m) of [the VAT Directive] have rules that apply in the event that the organisation is dissolved, under which it has to transfer its existing assets to another non-profit-making organisation in order to promote sport and physical education?’


The Court of Justice of the European Union replied that:

“1. Article 132(1)(m) of Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of value added tax must be interpreted as not having direct effect, meaning that, if the legislation of a Member State transposing that provision exempts from value added tax only a limited number of services closely linked to sport or physical education, that provision may not be directly relied upon before the national courts by a non-profit-making organisation in order to obtain an exemption for other services closely linked to sport or physical education that are provided by that organisation to persons taking part in those activities and that are not exempt under that legislation.

2. Article 132(1)(m) of Directive 2006/112 must be interpreted as meaning that the concept of a ‘non-profit-making organisation’, within the meaning of that provision, constitutes an autonomous concept of EU law, which requires that, in the event that such an organisation is dissolved, it may not distribute to its members any surpluses that it has made that exceed the capital shares paid up by those members and the market value of any contributions in kind made by them”.

The Bundesfinanzhof then decided, in line with the CJEU decision, that a non-profit organisation could not directly invoke Article 132(1)(m) of Directive 2006/112/EC before the national courts. It thus modified its existing case law. Furthermore, it reiterated the statements of the CJEU in paragraph 50 regarding the conditions of a non-profit organisation:

“50. The non-profit-making objective of those organisations presupposes that they must not achieve profits for their members, throughout their existence, including at the time of their dissolution. If that were not the case, such an organisation could, in effect, circumvent that requirement by distributing to its members, after its dissolution, all the surpluses made from all of its activities, despite having benefited from tax and other advantages as a result of its classification as a ‘non-profit-making organisation’”.

ACA-Europe reminds its members that it is very important that follow-up decisions (national decisions following a judgment of the Court of Justice in a preliminary ruling) are systematically introduced in JuriFast when the national decision asking the question is included in the database.

At the same time, the ECJ asks ACA-Europe to inform its members so that they systematically send all follow-up decisions directly to the Court at the address of the functional mailbox

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


The forum of ACA-Europe currently has 227 members from 34 institutions.

Since the last e-news, 10 new collective questions have been asked and 12 countries have actively participated with 54 answers: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Serbia.

The following topics were discussed:

  • Principle of lex posterior mitius in the judicial proceedings (2 answers)
  • Suspension of Dublin transfers upon another Member State's request (3 answers)
  • Yoga mats - Combined Nomenclature (6 answers)
  • Advertising a tobacco heating device (7 answers)
  • Refugees from Afghanistan belonging to the “Hazara” minority (10 answers)
  • Interpretation of the prohibitions in the Birds Directive (6 answers)
  • Compulsory vaccination of employees during the covid-19 crisis (4 answers)
  • Reception of “EZ” - C-238/19 (8 answers)
  • Integration under Article 34 Qualification Directive (3 answers)
  • Cohabitation in personal income tax law (5 answers)

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

Recent updates of CJEU ‘Flash News’ bulletins

From June 2022 onwards, all members of ACA-Europe are informed by ‘info flash’ of any recent updates of the CJEU ‘Flash news Bulletins’ published on the ACA-website.

For your convenience, you can find the most recent editions by clicking on the following links:

ECHR: Flash 6/22 | Flash 7/22 | Flash 8/22 | Flash 1/23

National decisions of interest: Flash 5/22 | Flash 1/23 |

Follow-up of preliminary ruling: Flash 1/23

Monthly case-law digest CJEU: October 2022 | November 2022 | December 2022 | January 2023 | February 2023

Judge Exchange

Since the call for host institutions and candidates for the 2023 exchange programme was already completed in 2022, this year, for the first time, the implementation of the programme could be started as early as January.

As this was well received by both host institutions and candidates, the calls for host institutions and candidates for the 2024 exchange programme were launched in January and March of this year. The procedure for host institutions was closed at the end of February. The deadline for candidates is April 30, 2023.

e-Library of European administrative law

The e-Library of European administrative law contains high-level judicial and scientific references that cannot be found anywhere else or that only have restricted distribution overview.

The most recent contributions include:

Have a look at our updated e-library here.

We are still looking for contributions to expand our library. ACA-Europe invites submissions on the hierarchy of norms, Fundamental rights, rule of law, Access to justice, Efficiency of administrative justice, European administrative law and comparative procedural law. We strongly encourage academic as well as policy and practice-based submissions.

Are you aware of any interesting publications? Did you write a contribution on a subject within the scope of European administrative law? Let us know and we will be happy to add it to our online

Members' News


Luigi Maruotti

In January 2023, Luigi Maruotti has been appointed President of the Council of State of Italy.

Graduated in law from the University of Naples, Luigi Maruotti became State Prosecutor and State Attorney. In the same year, he assumed the functions of magistrate of the Regional Administrative Court (T.A.R) of Puglia and, subsequently, in 1988 he obtained the qualification of Councillor T.A.R.

He became Councillor of State in 1989, President of Section in July 2010. Due to his high professionalism and competence, he was called to perform his duties in all the Judicial Sections of the Council of State. On 1 January 2016 he was designated President of the Third Section. On 25 February 2022, he was appointed Deputy President of the Council of State, but he continues to serve as President of the Third Section and President of the Studies Office. He has been nominated President of the Council of State as of 23 January 2023.

Rapporteur and draftsman of the single text on expropriations approved by d.p.r. n. 327 of 2001, he participated in numerous special commissions set up at the Council of State both as a member as well as president. He was the author of articles 33-35 of Legislative Decree No. 80 of 1998, in implementation of the delegation under Law No. 59 of 1997 and of several opinions given to the Government on the draft regulations provided for by art. 17 of Law No. 400 of 1988. He was an expert in the Commission for the examination of legislative initiatives in the field of administrative activity and protection of citizens in the Department for the Public Service and for the Coordination of Information and Security Service. In addition, Luigi Maruotti was a member of the Advisory Section of the Italian Football Federation from 2016 to 2018.


Wilfried Van Vaerenbergh

By Royal Decree of 4 September 2022, the king of the Belgians appointed Mr Wilfried Van Vaerenbergh as First President of the Council of State for a term of five years. He took the oath on 29 September 2022.

Wilfried Van Vaerenbergh obtained a master’s degree in Communication Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 1981. Furthermore he holds a master’s degree in Law which he obtained at the KU Leuven in 1988. For one year (1989-1990) he also attended the course “Master in Public Administration” at EHSAL Brussel.

From 1988 to 1990 he was Assistant Auditor at the Court of Audit.

He began his career at the Council of State of Belgium as an Assistant Rapporteur (1990-1992), and later on he became Assistant Auditor, Auditor (1992-2001), First Auditor (2001-2005), Councillor of State of the 1st Chamber (2005-2021) and Chamber President of the 3rd Chamber (2021-2022). Now, Wilfried Van Vaerenbergh has been elected and appointed First President. In this capacity, he shall preside the General Assemblies of the Council of State.

Wilfried Van Vaerenbergh has been mainly active in the fields of labour law, social security law and tax law. For several years he has been one of the Council of State’s press magistrates.


Jens Peter Christensen

From November 2022, Jens Peter Christensen has been appointed President of the Supreme Court of Denmark.

Born in Skive in 1956, President Christensen has obtained a Master of Science degree in Political Science (Cand. scient. pol.) in 1982, a Ph.D. (Lic.jur.) in 1990, a Masters of Laws degree in 1992. He is a juris doctor (Dr. Jur.) since 1997.

Before joining the Supreme Court of Denmark as a Judge in 2006, mr. Christensen worked as a legal officer for the Municipality of Copenhagen in the early stages of his career (1983-1984). In 1984, he joined the University of Aarhus, where he held a position as Teaching Assistant of economics (1979-1982), Lecturer at the Department of Political Science and Government (1984-1985), as Research Fellow at the Department of Law (1988-1990), as Senior Lecturer of public law (1990-1998) and as Professor of public law (1998-2011). Mr. Christensen has also served as a teaching assistant in economics at the University of Copenhagen (1983-1984) and Copenhagen Business School (1986-1992) and taught business law at Copenhagen Business School between 1992 and 1994. He was a teaching assistant of constitutional law at the University of Copenhagen from 1987-1997.

Between 1999 and 2000 he served as a temporary judge in the Western High Court/ Court of Appeal. Since 2006, he serves as a Supreme Court Judge at the Supreme Court of Denmark.

Furthermore, Mr. Christensen has chaired a wide range of research and legislative committees and commissions, including committees on the freedom of expression of civil servants and whistleblower schemes and on the right to vote when staying abroad.

Mr. Christensen is the author of many academic publications, books and research articles. His achievements have been recognised with numerous awards, including the Gads Fonds Juristpris in 1991 and the Filtenborgprisen in 2003.

On the occasion of his 60th birthday on 1 November 2016, a festschrift ‘Festskrift til Jens Peter Christensen’ was published by DJØF Publishing in honour of mr. Christensen’s distinguished career.


Skirgailė Žalimienė

Since July 2022, Mrs. Skirgailė Žalimienė has been appointed as President of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania.

President Skirgailė Žalimienė studied law at the Law Faculty of Vilnius University. She obtained a Master’s degree in law in 1996 and a Ph.D. in law (Dr. Juris) in 2001. Her doctoral thesis focused on ‘the freedom of establishment under the law of European Community’.

Ever since, she has been academically active. At Vilnius University, she served subsequently as a Lecturer (1998 – 2005) and Associate Professor (2005 – 2021) before being appointed as Professor in 2022. In her current position as Professor of the Public Law Department at Vilnius University, she teaches European Union Law. Between 2002 and 2005, she also joined Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius as a Lecturer.

Prior to joining the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania in 2008, Mrs. Žalimienė was employed at the European Law Department under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, where she served as an Expert between 1999 and 2002, as the Head of the EU Law Section from 2002 to 2004 and as Deputy Director General from 2004 to 2008.

From September 2008, Mrs. Žalimienė served as a judge at the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania. She has since been appointed Vice-President of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania in 2019. Starting 26 July 2022, she became President of the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania.

She has disseminated her broad expertise in European Union law through her participation in a number of (research) projects, such as the EU Twinning project (Croatia and Ukraine) and as a project manager for the Research Project ‘Constitutional consciousness as a Remedium for the Crisis of discourse and democratic deficit in the European Union”.

Do you have an announcement that you would like to share with your colleagues from ACA Europe - e.g. a new chairman has been appointed or elected, an important change has taken place in the functioning of your institution or your institution is organizing an (international) seminar - do not hesitate to contact us:

ACA News

Specific agreement 2023

On 7 December 2022, specific agreement No 101103748 - ACA_EU_NETW_2023 was signed by Mr Geert Debersaques, Secretary-General of the Association, and the European Commission.

Thus, both the programme and the budget for 2023, drafted by the Secretariat-General in recent months, have been accepted by the European Commission and the Association is assured of working resources for the coming year.

In this issue


Seminars and Colloquia



Recent updates of CJEU ‘Flash News’ bulletins

Judge Exchange

Cross-sectional analysis


Members' News

ACA News


27 April 2023


Seminar – The judge and inert administration. Administrative discretionary power – Riga, Latvia

25 June 2023


Board meeting – Naples, Italy

26 June 2023


Colloquium – Public services to individuals and social rights – Naples, Italy

27 June 2023


General Assembly – Naples, Italy

9-10 October 2023


Seminar – Preliminary rulings, from CILFIT to Consorzio – Stockholm, Sweden

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

Cross-sectional analysis

The report of the 2021 cross-sectional analysis, “The Supreme Administrative Courts in times of COVID-19 crisis - 2021 edition” is now available on the ACA-website.

For 2022, the following topic was agreed on: “Fundamental rights in the perspective of the new generation of social rights”.

The questionnaire, together with an introductory note to the topic, was distributed among ACA-members on 9 December 2022. By the time of the deadline, 27 institutions had participated.

Online publication of the report on the association’s website is scheduled for mid-July.

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