Founded 22 years ago, the European Judicial Training Network has reflected the best of European values from the start. Unity, solidarity, rule of law – independence and democracy. Independence from national and European political actors and democracy because it elects its organs and its chair, the Secretary General.
I was the sixth Secretary General of the network, after Armando d’Alterio, Gilles Charbonnier, Victor Hall, Luís Pereira and Wojciech Postulski. Each of us has had our difficult moments. Mine was the pandemic, which had the potential to shut down the network. But it didn’t. We have emerged from this crisis with entirely new activities: bi-weekly lunchtime webinars, online conversation classes, learning videos, judiciary learning grants, regional exchanges, digital judgecraft sessions in AIAKOS, virtual classrooms, learning objectives and the ABCD model as powerful quality improvement tools; large projects such as for the training needs of court staff, the Western Balkans or the training programme for the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. I am overwhelmed by the strength and optimism that members, observers, partners, and my wonderful team at EJTN headquarters have mustered to support me. None of what we have achieved would have been possible without you. For that I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
A new Secretary General will take office on January 1st. In the last few weeks I have introduced Ingrid Derveaux to the tasks. She’s ready. She too will have a challenge to overcome and I wish that you support her as you have supported me. EJTN has always been a fertile ground for new ideas and growth. I wish that the network remains such fertile ground that she can realize her plans together with you.