For the first time, Latvian judicial communicators on exchange visit in the Court of Justice of the European Union
14 June, 2022
June 8-11, Latvian judicial communicators visited the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg to exchange experience on establishing a judicial dialogue with the public and journalists, as well as on ways to facilitate the circulation of information about CJEU and EU General Court activities in Latvia. The purpose of the visit was to strengthen cooperation and dialogue in the common European judicial area. This was a significant event, as this was the first joint visit of Latvian judicial communicators to the CJEU for an exchange of experience, and it was also the first time the CJEU also welcomed a delegation from a Member State.
Judicial communicators had the opportunity to meet with CJEU Judge Ineta Ziemele, who emphasized the importance of the role of judicial communicators in raising awareness of the work of the judiciary and highlighting the values of the EU in the public sphere. The judicial communicators also had a separate meeting with the judges of the EU General Court Inga Reine and Pēteris Zilgalvis to discuss topicalities of the court. A detailed insight into the specifics of the work of the Advocate General of the CJEU was provided by the Advocate General Laila Medina, who is the first Advocate General ever appointed from Latvia. Judicial communicators also had the opportunity to follow the CJEU hearing in Case C-343/21, where Advocate General Laila Medina also took part.
The communicators met with William Valasidis, Director of the Communication Directorate of the CJEU, and Juan Carlos González Álvarez, Head of the Press and Information Unit. Representatives of the CJEU provided information on the Directorate's communication practices with the media and the public for informing them of the CJEU's judgments and the Advocates General's conclusions. The communicators had the opportunity to learn how the CJEU raises awareness of important issues among journalists in the Member States and organizes the circulation of up-to-date information.
Furthermore, Latvian court communicators met with the press secretaries of the CJEU – Amanda Nouvel de la Flèche, Corina-Gabriela Socoliuc, Martha Polyxenidou, Hartmut Ost, Balázs Lehoczki – discussed cooperation with the media and practices in the administration of social networks.
Marta Ošleja, the CJEU Press Secretary of the Baltic States, presented the practice of the CJEU and the work with the media in communicating the cases of the CJEU and the EU General Court binding on the Baltic States. Elīna Apine-Despierris, Administrator of the CJEU Publications and Electronic Media Unit, spoke about the CJEU's public relations experience. Ketija Strazda, a communications consultant at the Press and Information Unit, gave her views on communication as a tool for building the image of the court.
Zita Avas, Head of the Seminars and Visits Unit at the CJEU, briefed on the arrangements for hosting delegations and guests at the CJEU, as well as on organizing various conferences and seminars. Ilona Skuja, Head of the Latvian Translation Unit at the CJEU, introduced the communicators to the work of the CJEU Directorate General for Multilingualism, the main task of which is to ensure the availability of CJEU documents and case law in all EU Member States languages.
During visit to the CJEU, Latvian judicial communicators gained valuable ideas to put into practice when communicating about the work of Latvian courts. The communicators agreed that it is important to inform journalists and the public about the role of the CJEU and the EU General Court in shaping Latvian case law.
The Latvian delegation comprised Lana Mauliņa, Communications Adviser to the Secretariat of the Judicial Council, Dita Plepa, Head of the Public Relations and Protocol Division of the Constitutional Court, Zanda Meinarte, Public Relations Specialist of the Constitutional Court, Rasma Zvejniece, Head of the Communication Division of the Supreme Court, Iveta Jaudzema, International Cooperation Specialist of the Supreme Court, Raimonds Ločmelis, Assistant to the President of the Riga Regional Court, Ilze Butkus, Judge assistant at the Administrative District Court and a person responsible for co-operation with the media, and Ināra Makārova, Public Relations Specialist of the Court Administration.
The CJEU is one of the seven EU institutions. The role of the CJEU is to ensure compliance with EU law by ensuring the uniform interpretation and application of the Treaties and by reviewing the lawfulness of acts adopted by the EU institutions and bodies. The CJEU is composed of two courts, the CJEU and the EU General Court. The CJEU is composed of 27 judges and 11 Advocates-General, while the EU General Court has two judges from each Member State.
In 2022, the CJEU celebrates its 70th anniversary. As well as it celebrates European Day of Justice every year on 25 October.
In 2021, the Press Unit of the CJEU Communications Directorate published 231 press releases, distributed 601 newsletters, mainly to journalists as well as to lawyers, and sent 630 quick messages on cases on which no press releases were issued. The CJEU report for 2021 is available here. Since 2013 the CJEU has been using Twitter and LinkedIn.
The visit of the Latvian judicial communicators took place within the European Social Fund project Justice for Development (No 184.108.40.206/16/I/001).
Lana Mauliņa, Adviser to the Secretariat of the Judicial Council on communication matters
E-mail: Lana.Maulina@at.gov.lv, telephone: +371 67020711