Danube Ministerial Conference on Justice in Ulm

Dr. Margarita Popova, formerly Vice-President and Minister of Justice for the Republic of Bulgaria; Georg Eisenreich, State Minister of Justice of the Free State of Bavaria; Guido Wolf, Minister of Justice for Baden-Württemberg; Dr. Frauke Bachler, IRZ Managing Director (from right to left)
Dr. Margarita Popova, formerly Vice-President and Minister of Justice for the Republic of Bulgaria; Georg Eisenreich, State Minister of Justice of the Free State of Bavaria; Guido Wolf, Minister of Justice for Baden-Württemberg; Dr. Frauke Bachler, IRZ Managing Director (from right to left)
Serbia

The Danube Ministerial Conference on Justice was held in Ulm on 11 and 12 September 2019. This event covered the most important issues concerning the current status of the rule of law in the European Union and in the Danube countries, which are currently preparing to join the EU. The Danube Ministerial Conference on Justice, which was attended by Ministers of Justice and other representatives of the Danube countries, was organised by the Ministry of Justice for Baden-Württemberg with the involvement of the IRZ.

The Minister of Justice for Baden-Württemberg, Guido Wolf, opened the conference together with the Lord Mayor of the City of Ulm, Gunter Czich. Dr. Frauke Bachler, IRZ Managing Director, introduced the participants to the activities of the IRZ. The main themes of the conference were introduced by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Herbert Küpper, Director of the Institute for Eastern European Law at Munich / Regensburg, and Vice-President of the Southeast Europe Association.

Afterwards, the participants discussed various aspects of the rule of law during the two-day conference:

  • Panel I: Are we united by the rule of law in Europe?
  • Panel II: Influences of German Law in the Western Balkans as a contribution to EU rapprochement
  • Panel III: Law and legal certainty – jurisdiction, procedure, appeal
  • Panel IV: Independence of the judicial system, careers between politics and law.

The high-ranking speakers included:

  • Dr. Josip Grubeša, Minister of Justice for Bosnia and Herzegovina,
  • Georg Eisenreich, State Minister of Justice for the Free State of Bavaria,
  • Malte Graßhof, President of the Constitutional Court of Baden-Württemberg,
  • Dr. Janos Boka, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice of Hungary,
  • Tomaš Kafka, Head of the Central Europe Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and
  • Sebastian Weinzierl from the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers at the European Commission.

Panel II of the conference was moderated by Dr. Stefan Pürner, Head of Section at the IRZ. The influences of German Law in the Western Balkans as a contribution to EU rapprochement were discussed by Prof. Dr. Milan Škulić, a judge at the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia, Prof. Dr. Miloš Živković from the Law Faculty in Belgrade, Former State Secretary Michael Haußner, who was formerly appointed by the IRZ to advise the Ministry of Justice of Croatia and Montenegro, and the former notary and judicial advisor Richard Bock, former Vice-President of the German Federal Chamber of Notaries (BNotK). They reported on their own experiences and provided an in-depth insight into the process of legal transformation. One critical point that was raised was the fact that various reform efforts unnecessarily abandon shared continental European heritage and that this leads to the creation of hybrid laws, whereas using German law, which is based on a shared legal tradition, as a point of reference would ensure greater sustainability and acceptance.

Dr. Margarita Popova, formerly Vice-President and Minister of Justice for the Republic of Bulgaria, underlined the fact that there is another way in the Panel IV discussions on the “Independence of the judicial system, careers between politics and law.” She highlighted her past cooperation with the Bavarian Ministry of Justice and the IRZ as a positive example of consultation on an equal footing, with respect for and knowledge of the traditions and culture of the partner country.

Befitted kick-off meeting of the new EU Twinning Project “Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Serbia”

Katharina Tegeder, IRZ; Marko Jovanović, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Finance; Lidija Stojanovic, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications; Yngve Engström, EU Delegation; H.E. Anders Christian Hougård, Embassy of Denmark; Leonie Reimers, Embassy of Germany; Michael Poulsen, MS Twinning Project leader (from left to right)
Katharina Tegeder, IRZ; Marko Jovanović, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Finance; Lidija Stojanovic, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications; Yngve Engström, EU Delegation; H.E. Anders Christian Hougård, Embassy of Denmark; Leonie Reimers, Embassy of Germany; Michael Poulsen, MS Twinning Project leader (from left to right)
Serbia

Under the leadership of the Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO), the IRZ is the junior partner responsible for this EU twinning project. The project was officially launched on 29th May 2019 at the premises of the Club of Members of Parliament in Belgrade.

The high-level speakers at this event included:

  • Yngve Engström, Head of sector for cooperation at the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia,
  • Lidija Stojanovic, Assistant Minister, Sector for Market Inspection in the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications,
  • H.E. Anders Christian Hougård, Embassy of Denmark in Serbia,
  • Leonie Reimers, Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany, and
  • Marko Jovanović, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Finance - Department for Contracting and Financing of EU Funded Programmes (CFCU).

Their participation underlined the importance of the mission.

The magnitude and effects of counterfeiting and piracy are of such significance that they compel strong and sustained action from governments, business and consumers. More efficient protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights is critical in this regard, as is the need to build public support to fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

EU twinning, as a tool of integration and pre-accession assistance, should help to meet these challenges at an early stage, thus being a cornerstone for effectively and successfully conducting the accession negotiations with the European Union.

The project will run for a total of 24 months, with a budget of EUR 1.5 million.

The project partner in Serbia is the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications. The implementation of this project specifications takes place within the framework of regular seminars, workshops and study visits in close cooperation with the respective Serbian project partners.

The project: Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Serbia

Funded by the European Union

Conference on the professional responsibilities of notaries

Lovro Tomašić and Richard Bock, German Federal Chamber of Notaries; Srbislav Cvejić and Sava Dedajić, Serbian Chamber of Notaries; Miroslav Đorđević, IRZ (from left to right)
Lovro Tomašić and Richard Bock, German Federal Chamber of Notaries; Srbislav Cvejić and Sava Dedajić, Serbian Chamber of Notaries; Miroslav Đorđević, IRZ (from left to right)
Serbia

In May 2019, the IRZ, together with the Serbian Chamber of Notaries and the German Federal Chamber of Notaries (Bundesnotarkammer or BNotK), organised a conference on the professional responsibilities of notaries. The event met with such a great level of interest that the same topics were discussed on both the 27 and 28 May.

The event was opened on each occasion by the President of the Serbian Chamber of Notaries, Srbislav Cvejić, the former Vice-President of the BNotK, the former notary Justizrat Richard Bock, and the local representative of the IRZ, Miroslav Đorđević.

Notaries Sava Dedajić from Stara Pazova and Aleksandar Mrkaljević from Smederevo outlined the professional aspects from the Serbian point of view. The situation in Germany was presented by notaries Richard Bock and Dr. Lovro Tomašić. The latter gave his speech in Serbian.

The German speakers explained the professional duties of notaries using specific cases as examples. They emphasised the fact that, under German law, notaries not only have to point out any risks, they also have to actively suggest ways offering the best possible protection for each party. They also presented the high requirements of German case law for the professional activity of notaries.

As had been the case the previous year, the subject of the conference, which was decided by all three partners, met with a great deal of interest. A total of 175 notaries and notarial staff took part in the event. The conference was part of the IRZ’s efforts to support Serbia as part of the EU’s strategy for the Western Balkans and strengthens the role of notaries' offices in the administration of justice.