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More asylum-linked cases come before CJEU
Pic: Court of Justice of the European Union

22 Mar 2024 / cjeu Print

CJEU notes high number of asylum-linked cases in 2023

The number of cases brought before the EU courts hit the 2,000 mark for the first time last year, according to figures from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

The CJEU pointed out, however, that this figure was swollen by just over 400 “essentially identical” cases brought before the lower General Court in October.

The CJEU said that, overall, the 2023 figures confirmed the upward trend in the number of cases brought over the last decade.

Between 2014 and 2018, the Court of Justice, the higher court, received an average of 723 cases a year, while this average was 833 between 2019 and 2023 – an increase of 15%.

Direct actions

References for a preliminary ruling and appeals still account for over 90% of all cases brought before the higher court.

It noted, however, that the number of direct actions more than doubled to 60 last year.

It attributed this rise to more actions for annulment – with Poland alone lodging seven actions last year against acts adopted by the EU – and an increase in infringement actions taken by the European Commission, particularly in the environmental area.

The largest number of questions referred to the Court of Justice for preliminary rulings in 2023 concerned the area of freedom, security and justice (82), with most of those concerning the interpretation of the rules on the right of asylum and the system of international protection.

Transfer talks

The court has been in talks with the EU Council and European Parliament on transferring jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings on some areas of law to the General Court.

The President of the CJEU Koen Lenaerts said: “The Court of Justice will therefore be able to concentrate more on its core tasks as the constitutional and supreme court of the union.

“As in recent years, the litigation brought before the court is notable for its sensitive issues, such as the preservation of the values of the rule of law in the context of national judicial reforms, asylum and immigration policy, the protection of personal data and the application of competition rules in the digital age, the fight against discrimination, and environmental, energy and climate issues,” he stated.

The General Court completed just over 900 cases last year, with increases in the fields of intellectual property (310, compared with 270 in 2022) and economic and monetary policy, which includes banking law (56 cases).

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