On 25th April, our President, Paul Gilligan, and Director, Monique Van der Goes, met with the EU Justice Commissioner and Vice President, Vivian Reding along with Michael Shotter, a member of her cabinet. The main focus of the meeting was to discuss the EU Justice Scoreboard and the assistance that can be rendered by ENCJ having regard to its unique position with access not only to the Councils for the Judiciary, but also to the wider judicial community across the European Member States and of the candidate and potential candidate Member States.
The meeting was particularly interesting with Vice President Reding explaining the meaning and concept of the EU Justice Scoreboard as a tool to promote effective justice and growth to ensure the betterment of the national justice systems and of a way of promoting quality, independence and efficiency and, in effect, playing a key role in restoring confidence and a return to growth. President Gilligan was in a position to explain the nature and extent of the assistance that ENCJ could provide and outlined the programme for the forthcoming General Assembly in Sofia, 5th – 7th June, 2013, which is entitled “Independence and Accountability of the Justice System”. Vice President Reding showed considerable interest in the subject matter of the General Assembly and, in particular, the idea of the three topics that will be discussed namely:
- the Independence and Accountability of Members of the Judiciary,
- Independence and Accountability of Councils for the Judiciary, and
- the role of Councils in dealing with current challenges in the field of independence and accountability.
There was also discussion as regards the wider ongoing role of ENCJ and of the nature of the assistance that ENCJ can provide, not only to members of the EU but also candidate and potential candidate members and contact is to be made with DG enlargement in this regard.
The ENCJ was very pleased to have had the facility of this discussion with Vice President Reding and to have had the opportunity of indicating full co-operation not only with the Commission, but also with the other European Union and Council of Europe Justice networks and associations.