Language of document : ECLI:EU:C:2021:374





Order of the Court (Ninth Chamber) of 5 May 2021 – CPAS de Liège

(Case C641/20)(1)

(Reference for a preliminary ruling – Area of freedom, security and justice – Directive 2008/115/EC – Return of illegally staying third-country nationals – Return decision – Judicial remedy – Provisional right of residence and social assistance during the period in which the appeal is pending)

1.      Questions referred for a preliminary ruling – Answer admitting of no reasonable doubt – Questions the answer to which may be clearly deduced from the Court's existing case-law – Article 99 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice

(Art. 267 TFEU; Rules of Procedure of the General Court, Art. 99)

(see paras 20, 21)

2.      Border controls, asylum and immigration – Immigration policy – Return of illegally staying third-country nationals – Directive 2008/115 – Appeal against a return decision – National legislation not conferring suspensory effect on an appeal against such a decision taken against a third-country national suffering from a serious illness following the withdrawal of his or her refugee status – Implementation of that decision likely to expose that national to a serious risk of grave and irreversible deterioration in his or her state of health – Not permissible – No provisional right of residence and the provision of basic needs for that national until the appeal is concluded – Not permissible – Automatic suspensory effect of that appeal before a court of law – Obligations of the national court – Scope

(Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Arts. 19(2) and 47; European Parliament and Council Directive 2008/115, Arts. 3(4), 5, 13 and 14(1)(b); European Parliament and Council Directive 2011/95, Art. 11)

(see paras 26-29, 32, operative part)

Operative part

Articles 5 and 13 of Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals, read in the light of Article 19(2) and Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as Article 14(1)(b) of that directive, must be interpreted as precluding national legislation which does not confer automatic suspensory effect on an action brought by a third-country national against a return decision, within the meaning of Article 3(4) of that directive, concerning him, after the withdrawal by the competent authority of his refugee status pursuant to Article 11 of Directive 2011/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted, and, correlatively, does not confer on that third-country national a provisional right to reside and to have his basic needs taken care of until a decision on that action is taken, in the exceptional case where that national, who is affected by a serious illness, may, as a result of that decision being enforced, be exposed to a serious risk of grave and irreversible deterioration in his state of health. In this context, the national court, hearing a dispute the outcome of which is linked to the possible suspension of the effects of the return decision, must hold that the action brought against that decision has automatic suspensory effect, where that action contains arguments, that do not appear to be manifestly unfounded, seeking to establish that the enforcement of that decision would expose the third-country national to a serious risk of grave and irreversible deterioration in his state of health.


1 OJ C 44, 8.2.2021.