CJEU Annual Review 2021
10 January 2023
Riehle_Cornelia_Neu_SW.jpg Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

On 17 November 2022, the CJEU published its Annual Review for the year 2021. The Annual Review presents summaries of the most important judgments of 2021 organized by topic. It also includes an overview of the most important developments of the year, featuring images, infographics, and statistics. A selection of judgements is presented that raise legal issues which may be of particular interest to the public. The subject matter of these judgements includes the rule of law, competition, the environment, institutions, taxation, intellectual property, protection of personal data, consumer protection, family law, social security, equal treatment, state aid, social law, and the banking union.

Looking at the figures for 2021, the number of cases brought before the CJEU increased to 1720 cases compared with 1584 in 2020. The rise in cases can be attributed primarily to the significant increase in appeals against decisions of the General Court.

In total, 1723 cases were closed in 2021 and 2541 cases are pending before the two courts. The average duration of proceedings increased slightly to 17.2 months compared to 15.4 months in 2020. This slight increase can be mainly explained by the steps taken to mitigate the effects of the health crisis, including granting parties an additional month to submit their written submissions. The CJEU’s budget in 2021 amounted to €444 million.

Looking at the Court of Justice, 838 new cases were brought before the court, including 567 references for preliminary rulings. Most of the references for preliminary rulings came from Germany (106), followed by Bulgaria (58) and Italy (46).

Lastly, the review looks back at the steps taken to ensure closer contact between the CJEU and EU citizens, including a project to provide web streaming of certain hearings before the Grand Chamber. Another project in this regard is the remote visit project: European citizens can visit the Court online under conditions that are as similar as possible to those offered to individuals visiting in person.

News Guide

EU European Court of Justice (ECJ)


Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section