LEHTIKUVA / AFP

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For the first time in history, the Supreme Administrative Court is presiding over the board of the Association of the Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union (ACA-Europe). This prestigious role was transferred from the Consiglio di Stato, Italy's highest administrative court, to the Supreme Administrative Court at the General Assembly of the Association held in Naples, Italy, on June 27, 2023.

The Supreme Administrative Court's presidency, which will last from June 27, 2023, to May 28, 2025, is set to orchestrate a series of six seminars, two of which will take place in Finland. This rotating presidency will involve the collaboration of the highest administrative courts in Croatia, France, and the Netherlands, each hosting a seminar during the term.

ACA-Europe's primary focus is on the analysis and promotion of awareness regarding the implementation of European Union law. As part of its mandate, ACA-Europe ensures the uniform application of EU law across the territory of the European Union, thereby playing a vital role in upholding the rule of law in Europe.

During the past Italian Presidency, the focus was on comparing the activities of the highest national administrative courts. However, under Finland's Presidency, the focus will shift to the dialogue between the Supreme Administrative Courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), as well as the national effects of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). According to Kari Kuusiniemi, President of the Supreme Administrative Court, the viewpoint is moving from a horizontal to a vertical perspective.

One of the main themes during the Presidency will be the analysis of national court rulings in relation to the case-law of the CJEU and the ECtHR. The Presidency will emphasize the importance of preliminary ruling procedures before national courts, such as the consideration of a reference for a preliminary ruling and the enforcement of a ruling.

In addition to analyzing the relationship between national courts and supranational law, the Presidency will examine the national constitution's impact on each country's supreme court's decisions. The goal is to assess whether the Constitution has the same interpretative effect as EU directives.

Founded in 2001, ACA-Europe includes supreme courts from 34 European countries, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Switzerland as guests, and Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey as observers in administrative justice matters. The Association promotes understanding of EU law and the functioning of other administrative courts in Europe within their jurisdiction. Its activities involve organizing seminars, conducting research on case-law, maintaining a public database of member court decisions related to EU law, and facilitating the exchange of judges. The Association's secretariat is located in Brussels, Belgium.

With the beginning of the Finnish-Swedish presidency, there is great anticipation for the series of seminars that will take place across various European cities over the next two years. The first seminar, hosted by the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court in Stockholm from October 9 to 10, will focus on how the national administrative courts deal with the preliminary rulings system of the European Court of Justice.

The Finnish-Swedish presidency is expected to bring a new dynamic to ACA-Europe's operations, promoting greater understanding of the EU law, enhancing collaboration between national supreme administrative courts, and upholding the European rule of law.

HT

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