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20 septembre 2023

The 15th General Meeting of the Friends of ERA Association: Two new initiatives


Foto: The 15th General Meeting of the Friends of ERA Association: Two new initiatives.


On September 15th, the 15th General Meeting of the Friends of ERA Association was held at the Academy’s headquarters in Trier, where the members decided to support two new initiatives.

Young Friends of ERA

To foster connections among young legal professionals in the field of European law, the Association will establish a network of recently qualified legal practitioners. This network will be open to participants in ERA’s programmes for the younger generation, such as the Young European Lawyers Contest, the Young European Lawyers Academy, former scholars and trainees from the European Law Students Association. Young participants in regular training events will also be targeted.

Planned activities for this initiative include an annual face-to-face meeting, online panel discussions, and virtual networking on social media to connect the Young Friends with each other. There will also be national events coordinated with the national Friends of ERA Chapters, providing opportunities to network with senior legal professionals.

Elisa Zecchini, one of the finalists in the Young European Lawyers Contest in 2022 herself, presented the idea: "The idea of a network for the younger generation stemmed from the experience of YELC 2022 and the ERA 30 CONGRESS. Participants then returned home enriched by encountering fellow colleagues at the beginning of their careers, all practicing in different jurisdictions and yet united by a common interest in European law. This led us to create a space to foster that bond we had created, using it as a foundation stone for something new: a community where we could grow together, both professionally and personally, alongside and under the guidance of the Friends of ERA. I believe it will become a great platform to introduce many young practitioners to the activities of ERA, also seeking to bring together colleagues operating in decentralized forums, who often feel distant from the European institutions."

ERA Fund for Ukraine and the Western Balkans

To support the Western Balkan countries, Moldova and Ukraine and on their way to accession to the European Union, the Friends of ERA will support a dedicated fund. This fund will have a two-fold purpose: first, it will finance study visits for trainers at ERA, the European Court of Justice and other European institutions. Secondly, it will improve accessibility to training on EU law by subsidising the participation fees at training seminars delivered locally by ERA.   

The Friends of ERA is a 400-strong association bringing together legal professionals committed to the good application of European law. Almost 50 members took part in the General Meeting, half of whom participated online. 

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