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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

700,000 legal professionals to be trained in EU law


In a policy paper agreed today, the European Commission aims to ensure that half of all legal practitioners in the European Union – around 700,000 – gain some form of European judicial training by 2020. Legal practitioners will be equipped to apply European law, part of their role as judges and lawyers at national level.

To achieve this change, the Commission calls on national governments, councils for the judiciary, professional bodies and judicial training institutions both at EU and national level to commit to integrating EU law into their training programmes and to increasing the volume of courses and participants. Action by the Commission itself will include steps to ease access to EU funding for training and – through the European e-Justice Portal – support training programmes and aid exchange of practical guidelines.

Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, said that "this will help cement our efforts to create an EU-wide area of justice, improving the way the internal market operates." It will benefit people and businesses in Europe, who will be able to rely on swift decisions and proper respect for the rules, by generating increased mutual trust between Europe's different legal systems and an improvement in the implementation of European legislation.

Existing training providers with which the Commission intends to operate include the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) and the Academy of European Law (ERA), as well as numerous European-level legal professional organisations.