Today, 27 October 2023, on the initiative of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria, a Memorandum of Understanding for Establishment of the Balkan Constitutional Courts Forum was signed in Sofia. By signing the Memorandum, the constitutional jurisdictions of Albania, the Republic of Kosovo, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Türkiye, along with the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria became official members of the Forum.
The aim of the newly established Balkan Forum is to promote cooperation and facilitate the development of close professional contacts among the constitutional jurisdictions of the countries in the Balkan region, by becoming a platform for regular exchange of best practices, ideas and experience as well as discussion of topical issues in the field of constitutional justice.
With the signing of the Memorandum, the first annual meeting of the Forum hosted by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria was launched today in Sofia. The topic to be discussed is access to constitutional justice and all participants, including representatives of the constitutional jurisdictions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Hellenic Republic and Romania will share their experience.
The Balkan Forum initiative has received strong European support, having as its special esteemed guests the President of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Prof. Koen Lenaerts, the Vice-President and Judge at the European Court of Human Rights, Mr Marko Bošnjak, and the Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms Věra Jourová.
Among the guests of the event are also the Bulgarian judges at the ECJ and the ECtHR, Alexander Arabadjiev, Alexander Kornezov, Mariyana Kancheva and Yonko Grozev as well as the ambassadors of the participating countries.
Deputy Prime Minister Mariya Gabriel and Minister of Justice Atanas Slavov officially welcomed the participants.