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German Research Institute for Public Administration

The development of a pan-European general principle of good administration by the Council of Europe and its impact on the administrative law of its member states

‘The development of pan-European general principles of good administration by the Council of Europe and their impact on the administrative law of its Member States' is an ongoing project that is financed by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).

The purpose of this project is to fill the gap in existing research on pan-European general principles of good administration within the framework of the Council of Europe (CoE) by exploring how this principle manifests itself in the legal systems of its Member States. More specifically, it aims to find out to what extent (if at all) and by which means the work of the CoE in administrative matters, which started since the 1970's, has had an impact on shaping the administrative laws and practice in certain Member States of the CoE.

The project, therefore, benefits from the participation of the experts from the 30 Member States of the CoE, who bring their ‘insider knowledge' by researching the impact of the law stemming from the CoE on their respective legal systems and writing country reports thereof.  Experts from the following Member States have been invited and accepted to participate: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

As of today, the ‘Speyer Team' has already collected and analyzed a rich set of documents of the CoE and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights that are relevant for the project. The initial results of this endeavour are reflected in the open access  FÖV Discussion Paper No. 86. In addition, the first draft of the German report and the questionnaire aimed at facilitating the writing of the country reports were prepared. Finally, a shorter version of the initial findings of the research was also published in the Vilnius University journal Teisė and the spin-off article called "Creating Good Administration by Persuasion: A Case Study of the Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe" is forthcoming in the journal International Public Administration Review. 


What is more, the participating experts had an opportunity to meet in person and develop the project together during the workshop that took place on 27-29th of April, 2017 in Speyer. Among other things, various methodological approaches and the focal points of the research as well as more practical issues relating to the project were introduced and discussed. In addition, the structure of the proposed monography, which is intended to encompass a mixture of country reports prepared by the participants and serve as an outcome of the project, was agreed upon. The second workshop, for its part, is scheduled to take place in April, 2018. It will be dedicated to holding more in-depth discussions on the national reports and the problematic aspects thereof.

In the future, besides the collective monography, a blueprint on general administrative law in Europe on the previous research on the CoE's role in shaping pan-European general principles of good administration can be contemplated. Such blueprint could serve as a framework for comparing different national legislation and case law in administrative matters in Europe. Furthermore, it could be used as teaching material, especially for the European countries which are too young (in democratic terms) to have an exhaustive ‘list of solutions' allowing them to make the modern administration come true.

The participants to the project are (in alphabetical order): Doc. Dr. Müslüm Akinci (Turkey), Kocaeli University; Visiting Professor, Priv.-Doz., Dr. Alexander Balthasar (Austria), Andrássy University Budapest; Priv.-Doz., Dr. Nadja Braun Binder (Switzerland), German Research Institute for Public Administration; Dr. Emilie Chevalier (France), University of Limoges; Assistant Professor, Dr. Vuk Cucić (Serbia), University of Belgrade; Prof. Dr. José Dias (Portugal), University of Coimbra; Assistant Professor, Dr. Georgios Dimitropoulos, LL.M (Heidelberg), LL.M (Yale) (Greece), Hamad Bin Khalifa University; Assoc. Prof., Dr. Catherine Donnelly (Ireland), Trinity College Dublin; Prof. Dr. Dacian Dragoș (Romania), Babeș-Bolyai University; Madis Ernits, LL.M. (Helsinki) (Estonia), Tartu Court of Appeal, University of Tartu; Prof. Dr. Janneke Gerards (The Netherlands), Utrecht University; Prof. Dr. Michael Gøtze (Denmark), University of Copenhagen; Dr. Barbara Grabowska-Moroz, LL.M (Poland), Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights; Assoc. Prof., Dr. Tamar Gvaramadze (Georgia), Tbilisi State University and Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia; Izr. Prof., Dr. Aleš Ferčič (Slovenia), University of Maribor; Prof. Dr. Ida Koivisto (Finland), University of Tampere; Doc. JUDr. Filip Křepelka (Czechia), Masaryk University; Dr. Petra Lea Láncos (Hungary), Pázmány Péter Catholic University of Budapest and German Research Institute for Public Administration; Prof. Marco Macchia, Ph.D. (Italy), University of Rome Tor Vergata; Dr. Yseult Marique (Belgium), University of Speyer and University of Essex; Assistant Professor, JUDr. Michal Maslen, PhD (Slovakia), Trnava University; Dr. Sarah Nason (United Kingdom), Bangor University; Assoc. Prof., Dr. iur. Jānis Neimanis (Latvia), University of Latvia; Doc. Dr. Lana Ofak (Croatia), University of Zagreb; Prof. Dr. Frank van Ommeren (The Netherlands), VU University of Amsterdam; Dr. Vesco Paskalev (Bulgaria), University of Hull, UK; Assoc. Prof., Dr. Jurgita Paužaitė-Kulvinskienė (Lithuania), Vilnius University and Law Institute of Lithuania; Prof. Dr. Jane Reichel (Sweden), Uppsala University; Prof. Dr. Inger Johanne Sand (Norway), University of Oslo; Dr. Irma Spahiu (Albania), University of Toronto; Prof. Dr. Marek Wierzbowski (Poland), Warsaw University; Dr. Johan Wolswinkel (The Netherlands), Tilburg University; Senior Lecturer, Dr. Dolores Utrilla (Spain), University of Castilla-La Mancha.


Senior Fellow

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Stelkens



Agne Andrijauskaite, M.A., LL.M.


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)