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Rogelio Pérez-Bustamante

Towards a European Judicial Culture

Professor Jean Monnet

Over the last few years, the European Union has created a "European Justice Area" based on the adoption of measures to advance judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, eliminating obstacles to cross-border judicial procedures and access to justice in cross-border cases. This European Judicial Space of is part of the so-called "Space of Freedom, Security and Justice" that was constituted as one of the great objectives and functions in the European Union. To this end we briefly remind ourselves again of it chronicles.


The first achievement of European community construction was the development, through the Treaty of the European Economic Community of 1957, of a market without internal borders based on the four freedoms, and fundamentally on the free movement of people. This construction of commercial and economic character and the building a European Union was consolidated through the 1992 Treaty of Maastricht and so took a step forward, required precisely by the area without internal borders, including in the Treaty two 

intergovernmental pillars, one referred to foreign policy and the other referred to the justice and interior policy.

A major part of this pillar referred to Justice and Home Affairs would become community business with the 1997 Amsterdam Treaty, in which the "Space of Freedom, Security and Justice" was created as a concrete objective in the European Union including four scenarios: the Europe of the Rights and guarantees of people, including fundamental rights; the Europe of judicial cooperation in civil matters and of judicial cooperation in criminal matters, creating the "European Judicial Area", the Europe of security or police cooperation and the Europe of migration and asylum, euphemistically, the Europe of solidarity.

The Treaty of Lisbon consolidated this significant objective in the European Union including the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice in Chapter V of the Treaty of Functioning of the Union.


Different programmes have been advancing in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and consequently the European Judicial Area - Tampere Programme 1999-2004; The Hague Programme 2005-2009; Stockholm Programme 2010-2014-. Their achievements are significant, but we have the idea that we need that professionals in the administration of justice understand that they include not only judges, prosecutors, court clerks, but also lawyers, solicitors, notaries, judicial agents, agents of probation, mediators and courts interpreters.

The Stockholm Programme (2010-2014) stated that the aim of building the Europe of Law and Justice was to make life easier for people, and for this purpose a series of instruments were being put together, the basis being implementing mutual recognition of judicial resolutions and judgments, based on the reinforcement of mutual trust and the necessary harmonisation of laws. For its part, the European Parliament emphasized that adequate judicial training contributes significantly to improving the functioning of the internal market and to facilitating the exercise of their rights by the public at large.

Judicial training is a key element for the European Union, as it fosters mutual trust between member states, justice professionals and the public at large. 

For this purpose, as regards the European Union, on September 13th, 2011, a Commission Communication entitled "Creating trust in a European justice system. A new dimension in European judicial training" was issued with the aim of getting half of the justice professionals in the European Union to participate in judicial training activities before 2020 using all available resources. It was calculated at that time -2011- that the number of justice professionals in the 27 member states, now 28, exceeded the figure of 1,400,000.



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