“Bitri & Bakiu” Attorneys at Law, is an institutional member of the European Law Institute (ELI), a non-profit organization which is based on the contribution, research, recommendations and provision of practical guidance in the field of European law. In the framework of this membership we had the honor to be part of the ELI Annual Conference where internal organizational issues were discussed and further the Conference continued with a series of Webinars which focused on the hottest issues of the moment in Europe, world and why not even in Balkan region.
With this year’s main presence of ELI President Christiane Wendehorst, Austrian Justice Minister Alma Zadic and European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, followed by 14 different webinars including the Q&A session, in the context of a global pandemic where physical contact has been replaced by virtual one, the annual conference was held through the Zoom platform.
The opening speech of the conference was given by the President of ELI Christiane Wendehorst, who stressed once again that in the conditions of such a global crisis, despite the desire to be physically with all members, this was made possible through digitalization, where one of the benefits was the greater involvement of members from all over the world in activities as well as the reduction of costs related to travel.
Mrs. Wenderhorst stressed that while the current circumstances are challenging the European vision with closed borders and where the national interest prevails over European ideals, we must ensure that the commitment of ELI and its members is the same to improve legislation in Europe.
European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, in essence, spoke on the rule of law, saying: “What makes the rule of law so important is that it guarantees the respect of all our values, including democracy and fundamental rights. My conviction is firm; there can be no compromise when it comes to defending all common values.”
Among others, Bitri & Bakiu Attorneys at Law participated in some of the Webinars developed which touched such topics of interest as “Artificial Intelligence and Public Administration“, where the former plays an important role in modernizing and improving the public administration, but also raises doubts about transparency, compliance or non-discrimination. Also another topic discussed was “Business and Human Rights – Access to Justice and Effective Remedies“, where it was emphasized that as business is gaining more and more economic and social impact, the impact on human rights is viewed with skepticism by lawmakers, whether at the global, European or national level. For this purpose, ELI projects were discussed with the contribution of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), which aim to identify a range of EU regulatory options, including judicial and non-judicial options that aim to increase access to legal remedies for persons whose rights have been violated in business premises.
Focusing on business issues and the movement of companies from one country to another, an interesting topic for discussion was “Conflict of laws on companies in the EU” (considered as an idea to draft the Rome V regulation), without success in drafting such an act everything is left in the hands of the European Court of Justice, regarding the right of movement of companies, on conversions, mergers and divisions, a partial harmonization still leaves room for discussion which regime company law will be applicable to a particular company.
Another of the webinars addressed the topic of “Corporate Sustainability, Financial Accounting and Equity”, focusing on a variety of initiatives and policy proposals aimed at strengthening corporate sustainability in business.
The webinar sessions concluded with the launch of the book “Coronavirus and the Law”, which included a collection of 60 essays, in an effort to address this acute issue as well as provide guidance to judges, businesses and citizens in Europe and beyond.