It seems that WotC Europe decided that this year that aren’t any grinders at all for European National Championships. German Nationals used to have meat grinders (Standard, Booster Draft, and Sealed Deck IIRC) and these in part made Nationals a great event. Many people would come from all over Germany, just to have a shot in the Grinders. If they didn’t make it, they would play other side events.
This year there are no grinders. This means that the “Nationals event” will last one day less. I fear that much of the appeal of Nationals will be gone. I personally know many non-qualified people that would have gone to Nationals if there had been grinders. Now? Why bother? Grinders are gone and with it the many people that would come just to play in them. This in turn will probably mean that the side events will also become smaller, because most people are playing in the main event.
This is a sad situation and I hope WotC Europe will reconsider for the next year.