Annual Plenary

The EJSF’s flagship event is the annual high level EJSF plenary bringing together senior legal and justice stakeholders from the European institutions and EJSF private sector members to discuss and seek solutions on major issues affecting the rule and practice of law and justice in the EU.

The augural EJSF plenary in February 2016 – which also officially launched the Forum – took place in the European Economic & Social Committee (EESC) and was co-hosted by MEP Mr Pavel Svoboda, chair of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee and EESC member Mr Arno Metzler.

Focusing on the overall theme of ‘The Future of Justice in the EU: challenges & opportunities’, the event brought together prominent representatives of the EU justice sector (the Union institutions included), the Council of Europe, academia and the legal profession in order to discuss and agree on working solutions to some of the key challenges facing the justice sector. The discussions focused on three specific topics:

  • The impact of technology on the future of EU justice
  • Migration and the rule of law
  • The increasing role of international courts in lawmaking.

Among the distinguished speakers taking part were: Věra Jourová, the Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality; Tiina Astola, the newly appointed Director-General, DG Justice (Commission); Lord Justice Geoffrey Vos, President of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENJC); and Diana Wallis, President of the European Law Institute (ELI).

In her keynote speech Commissioner Jourová emphasised the major role of EU justice policy in enforcing fundamental rights, the rule of law and citizens’ rights. Mr Svoboda highlighted the important role of IT and e-justice, not only in terms of enhancing cooperation between national judicial systems but also for citizens’ access to other judicial systems. He reiterated his support for the EJSF initiative and the opportunities it offers for sharing experience and addressing key challenges and issues. In the closing address, Ms Astola commented on the need for the legal community to engage in discussion on societal issues and to maintain a constant dialogue so as to ensure that the law meets the needs of citizens and practitioners. Finally, Mr Metzler concluded the event by thanking the organisers and reiterating his support for the EJSF as a mouthpiece for EU citizens.

For more information about the inaugural EJSF plenary, February 2016, see the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee newsletter of March 2016 (page 9).

For more information about the next EJSF plenary, please contact us here.