The UIHJ and the UEHJ participated on 23 February 2022 in the 20th anniversary of the EJN-civil in Paris, at the headquarters of the Higher Council of the French Notariat, organised within the framework of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The UIHJ and the UEHJ were represented by Mathieu Chardon, Secretary General of the UIHJ.
The European Judicial Network in Civil and Commercial Matters (EJN-civil) aims to facilitate the networking of judicial authorities in the countries of the European Union. It was inaugurated on 4 December 2002 in Brussels. The EJN-civil provides (Source : Europa.eu):
- National information about the contacts points and functioning of the EJN-civil.
- Access for EU citizens to topical pages and publications regarding civil and commercial law assistance. Contact and instruments information for judges or other judicial authorities dealing with EJN-civil. EJN-civil regularly have meetings for contact points and central authorities. The agendas and reports of these meetings are publicly available.
- Documents and guides for EU citizens and practitioners regarding EJN-civil.
- Quick access to a list of information sheets prepared by EJN-civil covering EU, national and international procedures. Information to registered members of the EJN-civil.
The anniversary ceremony was held in a hybrid format, face-to-face and online. It was moderated by Tania Jewczuk, Head of the Department of Mutual Assistance, Private International and European Law, Directorate of Civil Affairs and the Seal of the Ministry of Justice of France. Didier Reynders, EU Commissioner for Justice (on video), wished a happy birthday to the EJN-civil. He congratulated all the contact points, as well as the magistrates, notaries, lawyers, judicial officers, and clerks, who bring the EJN-civil to life. He praised the incredible efficiency of the network and spoke about the challenges of digitizing judicial cooperation, expressing his belief that human ties must always prevail.
David Ambrosiano, President of the High Council of French Notariat (CSN), welcomed everyone in Paris at the headquarters of the CSN. He mentioned the role of the EJN-civil, whose purpose is to cement European cohesion through concrete initiatives and to make life easier for citizens, businesses, and legal professionals.
Jean-François de Montgolfier, Director of the French Civil Affairs Department, Ministry of Justice, thanked the CSN for its welcome. He thanked the Department of Mutual Assistance, Private International and European Law, Directorate of Civil Affairs and the Seal of the Ministry of Justice of France within the framework of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. He thanked all the participants for their presence and their support for the EJN-civil, of which he also recalled the objectives.
Jérôme Gavaudan, President of the French Bar Council, thanked the CSN in turn for hosting the ceremony. He recalled that the EJN-civil emerged from the European Council of Tampere in 1999 and constitutes a European base of civil law. He warmly thanked the actors who made it possible, during France’s previous presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2008, for the judicial and legal professions to be integrated into the EJN-civil, in particular Karima Zouaoui and Claudine Jacob.
Patrick Sannino, President of the National Chamber of Commissioners of Justice of France, in duplex, expressed his great joy to participate in this opening ceremony. He noted that the number of cases involving European law is constantly increasing, which is a source of complexity for legal professionals and requires very extensive cooperation. He indicated that it is this complexity that the EJN-civil wished to deal with, making it possible to contribute to the proper application of European law. He mentioned the European projects with which the judicial officers are associated, in particular the recent FILIT training project.
François Molinié, President of the Bar Association of the French Conseil d’Etat and the Court of Cassation, declared himself very happy to be present to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the EJN-civil and the participation of the Court of Cassation in the EJN-civil. He felt that the EJN-civil makes European rights effective.
Three round tables took place during the day. Round table 1 focused on: “The construction of European private international law at the origin of the creation of the network”. Europe has gradually equipped with instruments intended to facilitate access to justice, the recognition and enforcement of decisions and the resolution of conflicts of law. However, to be effective, this new European legal order must be known by citizens, and correctly applied by legal professionals. It is in this context that the EJN-civil was created on 28 May 2001. Its mission is to promote the dissemination of law and the implementation of European regulations. The round table was chaired by Cyril Nourissat, Professor of private law at the University Jean Moulin Lyon 3. The speakers were:
- Patrick Kinsch, Lawyer and Professor at the University of Luxembourg.
- Isabelle Guyon-Renard, Legal secretary, Court of Justice of the European Union.
- Andreas Stein, Head of Unit at European Commission, DG Justice and Consumers.
- Myriam de Hemptinne, Judge in Family law (Belgium) and member of the International Hague Network of Judges.
- Laurent Pettiti, President of the French Bars Delegation (DBF).
Round table 2 focused on “The network in support of cooperation instruments”. For 20 years, the field of action of the European Union has expanded to meet the expectations and needs of European citizens (maintenance obligations, inheritances, insolvency proceedings, etc.). As a real forum for discussion, the EJN-civil has played a major role in the construction of the European judicial area by reporting on the needs and concrete difficulties encountered by practitioners and by facilitating direct contacts between courts, central authorities and the legal professions. It was chaired by Marie Vautravers, Secretary of the EJN-civil, DG JUST, European Commission. The speakers were:
- Catherine Rumeau, Magistrate, French Contact Point of the EJN-civil.
- Janna Hofmannová, Czech Contact Point of the EJN-civil.
- Maija Leppä, Finnish Contact Point of EJN-civil.
- Roland de Moor, Dutch Contact Point of the EJN-civil.
Round table 3 focused on “What future for European judicial cooperation?”. In order to strengthen transborder cooperation the European Commission has promoted a set of initiatives to modernize judicial systems in the EU. The digitalisation of the EU justice is one of the main challenges for the coming years. How will the network adapt? More than ever, legal professionals appear to be the main players in this transition to digital technology. It was chaired by Alice Meier-Bourdeau, Lawyer at the French Conseil d’Etat and the Court of Cassation. The speakers were:
- Alexander Ivantchev, head of Sector e-Justice and Grant management, DG JUST, European Commission.
- Thierry Wickers, Third Vice-President of the Council of European Bars and Law Societies (CCBE).
- Giampaolo Marcoz, President of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE).
- Mathieu Chardon.
Mathieu Chardon insisted on the importance of the e-Codex to harmonise and streamline dematerialised exchanges for the judiciary in the European Union. He insisted on the new global challenges in terms of enforcement, concerning digital assets and the publication of the Global Code of Digital Enforcement, drafted by the UIHJ. He also announced the existence of the European Enforcement Atlas, a European project in which the UIHJ took part (http://www.enforcementatlas.eu ) which aims to present information on enforcement procedures in the European Union member states. Finally, he informed the members of the EJN-civil of the forthcoming implementation of a series of practical webinars organised by the UIHJ and the UEHJ on enforcement in the world.
Eric Dupond-Moretti, Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice of France, closed the day, noting that in twenty years of existence, the EJN-civil has become a fundamental player in European civil and commercial judicial cooperation.