Nieuwsbericht | 28-06-2006
Brussels, 29 June 2006
For years the Commission has supported the training of judges, prosecutors and lawyers through various funding programmes. However, recent developments in the European Judicial Area (introduction of the European arrest warrant, development of family law and civil law in general at European level) make it necessary for practitioners to continually update their knowledge of this constantly changing area. In addition, owing to the principle of mutual recognition, judicial decisions will circulate in Europe: a judgment handed down today in Helsinki may have to be enforced in Porto or Ljubljana.
It is therefore essential to develop mutual knowledge of the different judicial systems in order to establish genuine mutual trust. Judicial training has a key role to play in this regard.
Vice-President Franco Frattini, European Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security said :"Being a judge by profession myself, and knowing the legal complexity of cross-boarder cases, I know how important a proper training in and knowledge of different legal and judicial framework in the EU is, as are exchange programmes between legal practitioners. I therefore attach great importance to facilitating these processes at EU level. "
On 29 June 2006 the Commission therefore adopted a Communication on judicial training in the European Union. The aim is to devote more resources to this type of training at European level even though responsibility in this area lies primarily with the Member States. Although the EU has been supporting training in European issues for judges, prosecutors and lawyers for some years, it is important to reinforce these activities.
The Hague programme, "Strengthening Freedom, Security and Justice in the European Union", emphasises the need for mutual trust between the Member States through reinforced training of judicial practitioners in European issues.
Owing to the different legal and judicial traditions in the Member States, there are substantial differences between their existing judicial training arrangements. It is not for the EU to interfere in the organisation of national training systems. But strengthening mutual trust entails developing training sufficiently and devoting sufficient resources to it. Judges, lawyers and prosecutors must be able to receive training of an equivalent level and quality in all the Member States.
This judicial training should focus on three main areas:
A variety of training methods must be used to attain these objectives. An example is the programme of exchanges between practitioners which started up last year. On 29 June the second programme of exchanges of judges and prosecutors will be launched by the Commissioner responsible for justice, freedom and security, Vice-President Frattini, in the premises of the European judicial training network and in the presence of the President of the Belgian Supreme Judicial Council, the Secretary General of the Italian Judicial Council and the former Director of the French Ecole Nationale de Magistrature (Training College for the Judiciary).
The Commission will also seek to develop a closer partnership with players in the training area at both European and national level and to support networking by these players, for example by strengthening the existing European Judicial Training Network. In order to develop this policy it intends to assign more resources to training justice practitioners under the new financial programmes, in particular the "Fundamental rights and justice" programme.