Honourable Paraskevi Michou, Director European Commission DG JUSTICE Directorate A – Civil Justice, started her speech stating that the European area of justice should be an area of mutual trust, where court judgments should be recognized and forced throughout the EU.
To respond to the economic crisis the Commission has prioritized new legislative measures that facilitate the free movement of judgments of civil documents and propose common rules within the EU in order to strengthen the functioning of the civil market.
Ms. Michou stated that adopting these laws and improving national judicial systems will not be enough for making it work. They need to cooperate with each other with best possible ways. In that respect Ms. Michou adverted to the European judicial network in civil and commercial matters. This network is composed of national contact points from bodies of certain authorities, magistrates and legal practitioners at national level.
Furthermore Ms. Michou put forward that to interconnect European judicial contact points, training of legal practitioners plays a crucial role. A study of the EP published in 2011 indicates that are quite substantial obstacles to the participation of EU training for judges, prosecutors and court staff in the member states, such as work load, financial problems, and language barriers.
The Commission has set the goal that in the years 2011 to 2020 an European judicial training session or an judicial exchange should be offered for a number equivalent of the half of the legal practitioners. That means 700.000 participants. It looks unrealistic, but, as Ms. Michou underlined, with the initiatives how to interconnect and how to use the knowledge management systems makes her at least more optimistic about the achievement of that.
Ms Michou ended her speech by stating the DG Justice welcomes the work of the network of court coordinators: "Within DG Justice we are willing to work with you together to learn from your experience, to hear your thoughts and views of how to improve the implementation of EU law and how to achieve quality of national judicial systems."