12/07/2018 - - EJN
50th Plenary of the European Judicial Network, 27-29 June – Sofia, Bulgaria - 20th Anniversary of EJN foundation

The meeting gathered around 120 participants: local authorities from the Republic of Bulgaria, EJN Contact Points from the EU Member States, candidate, associated and third countries, as well as representatives from Eurojust, the European Commission, the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU and EJN partners.
The Plenary was opened by Ms Tsetska Tsacheva, Minister of Justice of Republic of Bulgaria, Mr Sotir Tsatsarov, Prosecutor General of Republic of Bulgaria, Mr Boyan Magdalinchev, Representative of Supreme Judicial Council of Republic of Bulgaria, Ms Nathalie Pensaert, Director for Justice in the EU Council Secretariat, Mr Peter Csonka, Head of General Criminal Law Unit in DG Justice and Consumers at the European Commission and Mr Ola Löfgren, Secretary to the EJN.

In the opening remarks, the speakers underlined the particularity of this 50th Plenary commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the European Judicial Network. All acknowledged the role of the EJN as key actor in the EU justice landscape and beyond it, the importance of the EJN website and the EJN tools aiming at facilitating and supporting the work of the EJN contact points and practitioners dealing with judicial cooperation.

The EJN Secretariat presented the state of play of the execution of the EJN Work Programme for 2018 and ongoing projects - including the results of the new online reporting tool for EJN statistics and activities.

One panel discussion focused on the future of the EJN, particularly on its functioning, the designation and introduction of EJN Contact Points and the EJN in relation to the EU. This panel was moderated by Mr Tsvetomir Yosifov, Head of International Department at the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor’s Office of Republic of Bulgaria, and animated by Mr Peter Csonka, Head of General Criminal Law Unit in DG Justice and Consumers at the European Commission, Mr Johannes Martetschläger, Senior Public Prosecutor, at the Federal Ministry for Constitutional Affairs, Reform, Deregulation and Justice of the Republic of Austria, Mr Francesco Lo Voi, Chief Prosecutor at the Prosecutor Office attached at the tribunal of Palermo in Italy, Mr Hans Nilsson General Secretariat of the Council and Mr Christian Schierholt, Chief Senior Public Prosecutor at the Central Unit Organised Crime and Corruption in Celle, Germany.

The other panel discussed the practical application of the European Investigation Order (EIO) and identified some best practices from their experience of using this new instrument. It was moderated by Ms Angelina Lazarova, Judge of the Court of Appeal of Varna, Bulgaria, and animated by Ms Danka Hrzina, senior State Attorney’s Adviser at the General State Attorney’s Office of the Republic of Croatia, Mr Per Hedvall, Head of Division for International Judicial Cooperation at the Swedish Prosecution Authority, Mr Thomas Lamiroy, Federal Magistrate, Office of the General Prosecutor in Belgium and Ms Dana Roman, Head of Division for Judicial Cooperation in criminal matters at the Ministry of justice of Romania.

In the course of the meeting presentations were made also on different topics in the field of judicial cooperation, such as “mutual recognition of judgments and the principle of ne bis in idem in the EU Member States” by Judge Pavlina Panova, Deputy Chief of the Supreme Cassation Court of the Republic of Bulgaria and “the Bulgarian National System for International Judicial Cooperation” by Ms Ivanka Kotorova, National Member for Republic of Bulgaria at Eurojust, EJN Contact Point; and the “new rules on e-Evidence” illustrated by Ms Patricia Hamel, Legal officer from DG Justice and Consumers, at the European Commission.

The Plenary meeting was concluded with an intervention by the EJN National Correspondent and representative of the upcoming Austrian Presidency, Mr Johannes Martetschläger, who invited the participants to Vienna for the 51st Plenary Meeting of the EJN in November 2018.

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