European Semester 2017: Commission issues country-specific recommendations

May 23rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink


On 22 May 2017, the Commission presented the 2017 country-specific recommendations (CSRs). “Priorities vary across the EU but further efforts across the board are essential to achieve more inclusive, robust and sustainable growth.”, according to the Commission.

The country recommendations include information on education and training but on a more general level. Some country recommendations specifically concern the lawyer’s profession and its rules, including the rules on shareholding and company forms, multidisciplinary partnerhsips and reserved activities.

For more information see the press release and memo of the European Commission.

European Commission Annual Report on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

May 23rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The report – published on 18 May 2017 – outlines the initiatives taken in 2016 by the EU to strengthen fundamental rights in the EU. It also looks at how these rights were applied across a range of EU policies and in the Member States in 2016.

The accompanying Staff Working document states on ‘Article 14 — Right to education’ amongst others:

– Education policies are instrumental in addressing inequalities, fostering inclusion and tolerance, and promoting the common values of democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law.

– In June [2016], the Commission adopted a Communication on a “New Skills Agenda for Europe” which underlines the strategic importance of skills for sustaining jobs, growth and competitiveness. It covers areas such as skills development, mutual recognition of qualifications, support for vocational education and training and higher education, and ways of exploring the full potential of the digital economy, in order to promote lifelong investment in people. It inter alia also proposes a ‘skills guarantee’ to further combat exclusion and inequality.

– The preliminary outline of the European Pillar of Social Rights published in March 2016 proposes a principle regarding skills, education and lifelong learning focused on the access to quality education and training throughout the life course and on the encouragement of skills upgrading.

For more information:

Press release

2016 Report on the Application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

Staff working document accompanying the Report

Launch of the HELP course on Pre-trial investigation in Moldova…

May 5th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

continue to read here.

Commission refers Greece to the Court of Justice over restrictions on mediation services

May 4th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Press release of the European Commission of 27 April 2017:

Services: Commission refers GREECE to the Court of Justice over restrictions on mediation services

The European Commission has today decided to take Greece to the Court of Justice of the EU on the grounds that Greek legislation on providers of mediation training services and on the recognition of the professional qualifications of mediators obtained in other EU Member States is against EU law. Mediation is a process where two or more parties attempt to settle their dispute with the assistance of a mediator. In Greece, only non-profit companies set up by at least one Greek Bar association and one of the Greek Chambers are allowed to provide training to future mediators. The Commission considers that such requirements on legal form and shareholding structure are contrary to the freedom of establishment (Article 49 TFEU) as well as the Services Directive (Article 15 of Directive 2006/123/EC). The Commission also considers that in Greece, the recognition of mediator qualifications obtained in other EU Member States is subject to discriminatory and disproportionate conditions. These conditions are incompatible with the freedom of establishment (Article 49 TFEU), the free movement of workers (Article 45 TFEU) and the Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications (Directive 2005/36/EC). Since Greece has not taken the necessary measures to bring its legislation in line with EU rules following the Commission’s reasoned opinion in February 2016, the Commission has decided to refer Greece to the Court of Justice of the EU.

See April Infringements Package: Key Decisions


May 4th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink


The Dutch speaking Brussels Bar (NOAB), the Deutscher Anwaltverein (DAV) and the Centre for Professional Legal Education of the Radboud University, the Netherlands (CPO) jointly organise a Course of study of German law in 2017 and 2018. This course offers a unique chance to acquire indepth knowledge of German law on a variety of law topics such as contract law, insolvency law, employment law, tax law and company law. The different modules are taught by German attorneys and professors, who are all experts in their respective fields….(Please continue to read here: en-flyer, fr-flyer-docx, de-flyer, and nl-flyer.)

England and Wales: SRA to launch super-exam in 2020

April 25th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will introduce its planned super-exam, the Solicitors Qualification Examination, despite opposition from the profession…

For more information, please read the ‘The Lawyer‘ (25 April 2017).

Interim Evaluation of the Justice Programme (2014-2020)

April 24th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The European Commission announced at the European Parliament workshop on 12 April 2017 that it will launch a public consultation in May to prepare a New Training Strategy. The aim is to find out more about particular needs of particular legal professionals. The Commission will also organise a conference in November which will bring together relevant stakeholders to consider ideas and strategies of all legal practitioners to feed into the New Training Strategy.

As part of this initiative, the European Commission has now published a roadmap which sets out in brief the way forward.

The roadmap indicates that the interim evaluation will cover the implementation period from 1 January 2014 until 30 June 2017, i.e. annual work programmes 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The main issues that will be taken into account by the evaluation are: a. effectiveness, b. efficiency, c. relevance, d. coherence/complementarity, e. EU added value, f. equity and g. scope for simplification.

The consultation strategy shall consist of the following:

• An online 12-week public consultation to be published on the “Your Voice In Europe” website. The questionnaire will be drafted in 24 EU official languages, also with a possibility to provide written input in any of the 24 EU official languages. A summary of the open consultation outcome will be published in English.

• Targeted consultation through an online survey: all applicants and beneficiaries, if necessary complemented with a targeted consultation through phone interviews for a sample of randomly selected applicants and beneficiaries representing different target groups.

• Targeted consultation through a questionnaire sent by email: Programme Committee members.

Planned start: Q 1 2017; Planned completion: Q 2 2018.

The roadmap can be downloaded here.

EP: Workshop on the training of judges and legal practitioners

April 18th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

On 12 April 2017, the Policy Department for Citizens Rights and Constitutional Affairs organised a workshop on “The training of judges and legal practitioners – ensuring the full application of EU law” for the European Parliament JURI and LIBE Committees.

Pier Giovanni Traversa, chair of the CCBE Training committee, participated for the CCBE. He reported on the role, mission and results achieved by the Training Committee in the ‎field of European Judicial Training (EJT) and the results of the two main EU financed projects: the European Training Platform and the joint CCBE EIPA study on the state of play of lawyers’ training in EU law. (For full information, please read the CCBE’s written contribution to the workshop – see below ‘Supporting documents/Compilation of in-depth analyses, pages 31-38).

Having regard to the need to bring together both institutional and private training providers (to discuss substantial and statistical issues concerning the training of lawyers), he announced that the CCBE will organise in December 2017 in Brussels a conference dedicated to the training of lawyers which will deal with a number of topics: the future of training, new training methods, training in EU law and support tools, cooperation amongst training providers. (The exact date of the conference still needs to be settled.)


Pier Giovanni Traversa

Supporting documents published on the Parliament’s website:

Click here to watch the recordings of the workshop.

HELP: Outcome of European Seminar on Legal Training and Evaluation

April 4th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink


An account of the seminar (which took place on 20/21 March 2017) and the seminar’s presentations can be downloaded here.

Conclusions-future: HELP plans, on the one hand, to intensify the implementation of the existing courses, and on the other hand, create new HELP courses on new domains relevant for EU countries, such as the prevention of radicalisation.

Action grants to support transnational projects on judicial training covering civil law, criminal law or fundamental rights

April 3rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink


The European Commission published last week, on 30 March 2017, advance information on several calls for proposals for Action Grants under the Justice Work Programme 2017. (Regarding the Justice Work Programme, please see the post of 15 March 2017).

The objective is to contribute to the effective and coherent application of EU law in the areas of civil law (including consumer law), criminal law and fundamental rights, to judicial ethics and the rule of law, by covering training needs’ gaps in these fields.

Funding will be provided to:

– tackle gaps in cross-border cooperation of training providers;

– tackle gaps in training on EU law for court staff and bailiffs by cross-border training activities on all areas of EU civil, criminal and fundamental rights law relevant for their judicial work;

– support the training of mainly judges, prosecutors, lawyers and notaries on EU civil, criminal and fundamental rights law, legal systems of the Member States, judicial ethics and the rule of law, knowledge of cross-border IT tools and linguistic skills of legal practitioners in areas with particular added value.

The calls will be opened on 15 June 2017. The deadline for applications will be 25 October 2017.

More information on the call for proposals are available here.

The CCBE will consider the proposals, jointly with the European Lawyers Foundation.