REturn DIALogue


Co-funded by the European Union under the EU Return Fund
Director of the project : Prof. Philippe De Bruycker
From November 2014 to December 2016

First thematic workshop

The first thematic workshop of the REDIAL Project was held by the Migration Policy Centre in Florence on the 2nd and 3rd of October 2015 and gathered judges from 19 Member States, specialised professors, researchers and legal experts working on return and migration law at both European and national level. Based on the national-case law DATABASE and the European Synthesis report, participants had the opportunity to discuss and debate the key issues and legal concepts covered by the first package of the Directive’s provisions, namely the termination of illegal stay. As a follow-up to this first meeting, an open-access website (euredial.eu) has been created and an Electronic Journal on Judicial Interactions and Return Policy is going to be published online. A second thematic workshop will be held in Brussels from 14 to 16 April 2016.

Objectives of the project

 Against the background of the growing body of the CJEU and national jurisprudence on the Return Directive and the obvious need to enable the exchange of information among national judicial practitioners on the Return Directive, the main objective of the project will be twofold: first, it will establish a functioning European network of judges dealing with return cases and corresponding legal academics from the Member States with a view to exchange knowledge and experience regarding the proper implementation of the EU Return Directive; second, it will build a comprehensive knowledge platform comprising of national and CJEU landmark judgments, their analysis and the pertinent general academic writings. In so doing, the project will not only inform national judges about the implementation of the Return Directive and the related Luxembourg case-law, but also bring to light existing challenges and loopholes in the interpretation and application of the Return Directive with a view to preparing the ground for its further (knowledge-based) legislative improvements. In sum, it will foster a new form of judicial cooperation in a horizontal rather than vertical way, as it is the case through the mechanism of preliminary rulings before the CJEU.


The methodology will rely upon close collaboration between judges and academics. At the national level, national judges will be in charge of the selection of landmark judgments on the Return Directive, while the academics will be responsible for synthesizing the latter after a critical input from the judges. Such a close cooperation between judicial practitioners and academic experts will contribute to an in-depth understanding of the national jurisprudence as well as to highlighting challenges in the judicial implementation of the Directive. The regular communication among network members will foster the smooth exchange of information on common topics of interest, contribute to the cross-fertilization of the relevant national case law, and enhance the harmonised interpretation of the Return Directive and the relevant Luxembourg case-law.


The direct beneficiaries of the project will be not only the judges and academics participating in the project, but also their peers from all over the EU not directly involved in the network. Apart from this, the project will also be beneficial to relevant EU institutions (in particular the Commission and the Court of Justice) in charge of controlling the implementation of EU law, national administrations in charge of return procedures, NGOs, return lawyers, and most importantly, to the persons falling under the scope of the Return Directive.

 Main outcomes and deliverables

 The main outcomes and deliverables of the project will be:

  • a functioning European Judicial Network on Return Directive;
  • a comprehensive legal database on the relevant national and European jurisprudence and their analysis;
  • an E-Training module on return directive in order to ensure the sustainability of the project after the period of EU funding;
  • an annotated (with national and European case-law) Return Directive;
  • European Journal on Judicial Interaction and Return Policy;
  • a book on the judicial application and interpretation of the Return Directive; and

a compact highlighting main challenges with regard to the relevant case law and providing recommendations for the improvement of judicial dialogue.

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