‘Access to effective justice for EU citizens’

Following the successful launch in 2016 of the European Justice Stakeholder Forum (EJSF), the 2nd annual plenary of the EJSF took place in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels on 24 April.

The event was hosted by EESC member and lawyer, Mr Arno Metzler. Distinguished participants included MEP Therese Comodini Cachia, member of the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee; MEP Pedro Silva Pereira, vice chair of the EP’s Constitutional Affairs committee; MEP Heidi Hautala; MEP Anne-Marie Mineur; Commission Director DG Justice Paul Nemitz; Diana Wallis, President of the European Law Institute in Vienna; Judge Wojciech Postulski, Secretary General of the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) as well as legal practitioners and academics.

The overall theme of this year’s event was ‘Access to effective justice for EU citizens’, with a focus on three specific topics: digitalisation and access to justice, rethinking EU citizenship in the wake of Brexit, and the UNGPs on business and human rights for EU lawyers, citizens and business.

EJSF members White & Case (Jacquelyn MacLennan) and Fragomen (Christine Sullivan) moderated the panels respectively on UNGPS and EU citizenship in the wake of Brexit.

A general conclusion was the importance of providing effective access to law and justice for citizens in Europe as a basic principle of the rule of law in the EU.

Other conclusions included the need to:

  • Protect citizens and their rights including their right to privacy in this new technological world
  • Ensure legal certainty and fairness for all citizens affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU
  • Recognize the different legal traditions in Europe, to meet, share and communicate
  • Provide effective redress and enforcement in Europe for victims of human rights abuses.

L to R:

Arno METZLER EESC, Diana WALLIS President ELI, MEP Therese COMODINI CACHIA, Luis PLANAS Secretary General EESC,  Fiona MURRAY Secretary General EJSF

EJSF plenary discussion, 24 April 2017, EESC.

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