Judges of the different EU Member States are called on to play an important role in the construction process of the European Judicial Area, and are contributors and protagonists of a new judicial culture which displays significant effects on the protection of the rights of European citizens.
This Distance-learning Course attempts to increase the training and awareness of EU Judicial Authorities of normative, institutional and technological instruments of the European Judicial Area in civil and commercial matters. It will also facilitate the reciprocal knowledge of the different judicial systems in the EU, thus contributing to increasing the trust necessary for the effective functioning of the principle of mutual recognition.
Over the past few years we have witnessed the exciting construction process of a common Judicial Area and Judicial Culture at EU level which derives from the Treaty of Maastricht (with the incorporation of Justice in the so-called intergovernmental “third pillar”), continuing with the Treaty of Amsterdam in which civil judicial cooperation was “communitarised” (coming under the “first pillar”) and the Treaty of Nice (with the application of the co-decision mechanism) and culminating with the Treaty of Lisbon in which the distinction of community action in pillars disappeared clearly delimiting the possibilities of action of the EU in the realm of Justice.
Three policies have been carried out to date in order to lend impetus to the possibilities outlined in the Treaties and make them a reality. The first was the Tampere European Council, continuing with The Hague Programme and taking a further step forward with the Stockholm Programme which is currently in force. One of its priorities is to establish “A Europe of law and justice” by stating that: “A European area of justice must be consolidated so as to move beyond the current fragmentation. Priority should be given to mechanisms that facilitate access to justice, so that people can enforce their rights throughout the Union. Cooperation between public professionals and their training should also be improved, and resources should be mobilised to eliminate barriers to the recognition of legal acts in other Member States”.
In enforcing the aforementioned, European Union action is essentially extended in different directions which include firstly the approval of numerous legal instruments which aim to avoid the existence of elements belonging to different European states constituting a barrier to the establishment of legal relationships. This is particularly true with regards to the fact that they can involve the necessary recourse to the Courts (access to Justice). To the above-mentioned is added significant awareness-raising regarding these instruments, their application and the legal and procedural systems of the different states. This awareness-raising campaign is diverse and is currently being simplified and harmonised by the European E-Justice Programme. All of the 3/17
aforementioned is accompanied by institutional action through the creation of new bodies (Liaison Magistrates, Judicial Networks, etc.) which facilitate the application of the approved normative instruments and respond to the issues and problems derived from it.
This distance-learning course analyses the current status of the construction of the European Judicial Area in civil and commercial matters, as well as its future perspectives