Topical issues of European competition law and their importance for the Bulgarian legal order – an NIJ training in cooperation with the Bulgarian Competition Law Association

On 28.03.2024 the Director of the National Institute of Justice, Miglena Tacheva and Dr. Ekaterina Ruseva, Chairman of the Board of the Bulgarian Competition Law Association (BCLA), signed a Memorandum of Cooperation aimed at improving the professional training of judges in the field of competition law.

On the same day the first joint initiative was launched – training for judges and lawyers on current issues of European competition law and their relevance in the Bulgarian legal order. Dr. Ekaterina Rousseva, Attorney Tsvetelina Georgieva and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ivan Stoynev, members of the Association took part as judicial trainers. A lively discussion was sparked by issues related to the determination of the minimum amounts of lawyers’ fees by the professional organizations of lawyers in the EU Member States: legal implications and liability according to the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, as well as the application of state aid legislation by national courts.

An in-depth analysis of the CJEU’s judgment in case C-438/22 Em akaunt and the case law preceding it was presented. The discussion focused on the question when professional organisations, such as the one of lawyers in Bulgaria, constitute an association of undertakings and as such fall within the scope of the competition rules.

The training is organized under the project “Modern learning environment for judges, prosecutors, investigating magistrates and other legal professionals”, funded by the Justice Programme, Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021.

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