On 7 March, Vivien Whyte met with Ms. Sylvie Guillaume, Vice-President (S&D) of the European Parliament and a Member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Homme Affairs Committee (LIBE).
Vivien Whyte presented Ms. Guillaume with a copy of the White Paper for a Rechtspfleger/Greffier for Europe and insisted on the key role played by our professions in the protection of the values of the European Union. Considering the current economical and political situation in Europe, the EU needs to adopt a real policy on non- judge staff and make use of our proposals to make justice systems more efficient. Twelve EU Member States have already opted for a Rechtspfleger or similar profession and where they exist they have seen their sphere of competence expand over time. The time has come to strengthen these professions and create them where they do not yet exist. The Rechtspfleger/Greffier for Europe is a strategic reform that is easy to implement and will yield great results in terms of quality and efficiency of justice. Such a reform is necessary to improve justice confidence and strengthen the rule of law.
Ms. Guillaume fully agreed with our analysis of the situation and supports our proposals. In her views, operational documents such as the EU Justice Scoreboard and European Semester country-specific recommendations should take due notice of Rechtspfleger and other non-judge staff.
On 19 May, Ms. Guillaume filed a parliamentary question to the European Commission, asking them to justify why Rechtspfleger and other non-judge staff are not mentioned in the Scoreboard and European Semesters. In the same question, she asks the Commission to propose ways to improve the functioning of legal systems through the promotion of these professions and the use of their competences. The Commission’s answer will be known within six weeks.