As a member of the winning team of the University of Ljubljana, I was deeply honoured to also receive the CEEMC Best Speaker Award, one of the two Best Speaker Awards. Not only did and does this Award represent an important landmark on the way to fulfilling my dreams of becoming a lawyer, it also enabled me to spend an unforgettable week at the Court of Justice of the European Union. Together with the second Best Speaker prize winner, Stiliyana Ivanova, we decided to go to Luxembourg in September 2014. Though we visited different cabinets, we stayed together at a hotel and I have to say I could not wish to have a better company J
I was assigned to the Cabinet of Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston. Already before I came to Luxembourg I had received all the relevant information regarding my stay at the Chambers from Ms Isabella Wimmer, who was more than helpful also upon our arrival to the CJEU on the first day. Also Ms Isabelle van Damme, a referendaire who I already met in Warsaw, gave me her e-mail address in case I should have any questions regarding the contents of my work. On the first day I was introduced to the other three referendaires, Mr Alan Baillie, Mr Stanislas Adam and Ms Margaret Doyin, who took time to acquaint me with the process of writing an opinion and briefly presented the ongoing cases. I was surprised to see how challenging and diverse their work is regarding the content of the cases. Mr Stanislas encouraged me to prepare notes on a case concerning placement of workers. From Monday to Thursday I spent most of the day in the office reading through the rapport prealable, observations of the parties and the case law, trying to find a suitable answer to both referred questions. But please, please do not be discouraged or frightened by this information JI found it amazing to be part of this incredibly talented team, even if just for a little while, and to (perhaps) contribute to the draft opinion. I therefore more than enjoyed working and time passed by so quickly, I have not even realised it. And nonetheless, I still had time to see Luxembourg which is, in my humble opinion, one of the loveliest cities I have visited so far and to enjoy evenings in Luxembourg’s restaurants, where one can find delicious food from all over the world. On my last day I did some research on case law for Ms van Damme regarding the protection of consumer’s rights deriving from EU law in the national court proceedings which turned out to be more challenging as it seemed because the relevant information was not a subject matter of the Court’s judgements and therefore not among the hits. In the course of my Friday research I also visited the library which is really impressive and where one can find not only the European Union law-related materials but also the materials from the member states. Last but not least, right before I left I had a pleasant talk with Ms Sharpston about her work and the responsibilities that come with such an important job. I should say, she gave me some very useful advice that will most certainly serve me when pursuing my career.
Altogether, and I probably do not neet to emphasise that, it was a marvelous experience. Though being very busy, everyone was so friendly and willing to help. After completing my tasks I discussed the relevant issues with the referendaires and they even contacted me after a while with respect to the progress of the cases I have worked on. For all their support I am really thankful. One should also not forget that is the organisers and supporters of the CEEMC who make visits to the CJEU possible. Therefore a really big thank you to them too and especially to Ms Denise Ashmore who puts so much effort in making sure that everything runs smoothly – from the competition itself to the winners’ visits.