At the very beginning I shall say that CEEMC is one of the best things that ever happened to me. The competition itself was an amazing experience during which I met lovely people from all over Europe, who I believe I will stay in touch with for a long time.
I was awarded the Best Speaker prize but I have to confess that I never accepted this as a personal award. I consider it more as recognition for the efforts of the entire team and our amazing coaches,for the long trainings and everything that we have put into the preparation for the competition.
My prize was a week’s stay at the cabinet of Judge Alexander Arabadjiev at the Court of Justice of the European Union. Being a Bulgarian the fact that my award was exactly stay at the cabinet of the Bulgarian Judge made me extremely happy because I have always respected the judge for his work and dedication to the legal profession. I had the honour to meet him at the very first day of my stay at the CJEU. We had a short conversation where he explained me various aspects of his day-to-day activities. He also gave me a few important advises about my studies and future carrier development. What impressed me the most was the fact that despite his hectic schedule, Judge Arabadjiev was eager to understand more about me, my team and the competition.
I was really surprised to understand how busy everyone at the chambers is and how many cases are pending. I also had the opportunity to meet all four referendaires at the Judge’s chamber and learn more about the importance of their work. I was assigned with a few very interesting tasks and researches. One of the referendaires – Ms Julie Brohée, asked me to read all relevant materials (including rapport prealable, observations of the parties etc.) regarding a case which was going to be examined by the Grand Chamber the next day and to prepare a list of questions which could further clarify the factual background and the parties’ submissions.
I also had the opportunity to work with Mr Alexander Kornezov (the first Judge’s referendaire) who was more than kind with me. He assigned me a few very exciting and challenging tasks including conducting a research under Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the internal market (the Services Directive). The research included identifying of relevant case law under specific provisions of the directive, searching for articles and publications of authors related to certain problematic issues and preparing a general overview (including my personal position) on a few very interesting and important questions related to the directive’s application. In the course of the research I visited the library of the CJEU where I spent almost two days. The library is very well organized and one can easily find plenty of books on EU law, various areas of Member State’s national law, as well as the latest issues of many legal journals. I was really surprised to find that the Bulgarian section was supplied with some of the latest textbooks and materials.
I also had the chance to go through a few recent decisions given in preliminary ruling procedures based on queries of Bulgarian courts, and to prepare short summaries of the said decisions in order to be included in a special monthly journal issued in Bulgaria.
During the week I managed to attend a hearing of the Grand Chamber of the CJEU. This was a great experience because the case was intriguing and the judges were very active, asking questions during the entire session. I also had enough time to attend hearings of some of the chambers and learn lots of new and useful facts about insolvency proceedings in different Member States.
One of the things that impressed me the most was the true international atmosphere and climate at the Court. While you are walking down the corridors you can hear basically all languages. There are many stagiaires from all over Europe (not only Member State countries) who are always ready to show you around. Me and Daniela had some pleasant lunches with the other stagiaires where we learned even more for the CJEU and the various work styles within the respective judges’ chambers.
Despite all the things we were engaged with, we also had the evenings for sightseeing and taking photos. Luxembourg is one of the most fascinating cities I have visited and I am really happy that I had the opportunity to spend a week there and truly feel its spirit.
As a conclusion I need to mention that all of this wouldn’t have been possible without the kind assistance of the British Law Centres, so a big ‘THANKS’ to all of you guys who arrange and organize everything – from the smooth run of the competition to all additional and accompanying matters.
P.S.: A quick note to all future contestants – definitely try to win the competition. If this is not the case, then do your best to win one of the Best Speaker’s prizes because the experience is more than worthy.
Member of the Sofia University Team at CEEMC 2014