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29 February 2024

Julia Laffranque: A Friend of ERA


Foto: Julia Laffranque: A Friend of ERA.


One of the more than 400 members of the Friends of ERA is Julia Laffranque. She currently lives in Tartu, Estonia, where she works as a judge at the Supreme Court. She also is the Controller of procedural guarantees at the European Anti-Fraud Office, also known as OLAF, in Brussels.

Julia, what is your ERA story?

I joined the Friends of ERA in 2021, but my friendship with ERA goes back much further. I first came across ERA in 2004 - exactly 20 years ago! When I was a young judge, justice and member of the Administrative Law Chamber of the Supreme Court of Estonia, I took part in an ERA training course on preliminary references to the European Court of Justice. Preliminary references were one of my favourite topics, which I also defended in my Master's thesis. I was very impressed by the high level and quality of the ERA course. I had heard about ERA before the training event, but it was the first time I had been to Trier. In 2010 I met Joanna for the first time at the International Federation for European Law (FIDE) Congress in Madrid, where ERA had a stand, and I invited ERA to the FIDE Congress in Estonia in 2012, which I organised.

The relationship deepened when I worked as ERA’s Programme Director and Deputy Director, and I have been teaching at ERA ever since. I also belong to the Board of Trustees of ERA. ERA is a wonderful family.

The Friends of ERA continue to fascinate me both professionally and personally. They bring together Europe's top lawyers with a noble mission: to promote excellence in European law. We want to encourage young people and support states that aspire to one day be part of the common European legal space.

We meet at many networking events, either online or in person, which are not only open to members of the local chapters. Less well known is the Association's involvement in the arts, where it made a significant contribution to the installation of the bronze sculpture "Philosophers in Dialogue" by Giovanni de Angelis in the courtyard of ERA.

Being a Friend of ERA is a lifelong adventure - rich in new experiences and knowledge of European law. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet very interesting professionals and simply nice people from all over Europe. At the ERA Conference Centre in Trier you will meet the enthusiastic staff, attend ERA training events and visit beautiful Trier, the oldest city in Germany, a Roman city with many World Heritage sites and a picturesque landscape.

Above all, you will spread the passion for European law as far and wide as possible.

Julia, it’s your turn: Choose the next Friend to tell their ERA story. Who will get the letter ‘I’ next?

I’ll pass it to Professor Peter-Christian Müller Graff. I have known him for even longer than ERA, we first met in Helsinki during FIDE 2000. Now our paths cross frequently through the Friends of ERA, of which I am grateful for.

More information and how to join:
The Friends of ERA – Committed to European Law (era-comm.eu)

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