On 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 expertise 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 in Sofia. The topic chosen for this first meeting centered around the different possibilities of access to constitutional justice. Along with the already official members of the forum, representatives of the constitutional jurisdictions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Romania and Croatia shared their experiences.
Аs special esteemed guests for the forum arrived 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. The European partners thus gave a clear sign of support and contributed to the solemnity of the event.
Among the guests of the event were 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.