On 16-18 June a delegation of Council of Europe experts visited the Republic of Moldova to begin the implementation of project: "Support to the Moldovan Bar Association". The start of the project was timed with the successful elections of the President of the Moldovan Bar Association, new members of its Council and Committees. The experts' visit was a success due to pluri-disciplinary experts’ team and the openess and comitment of the new Bar Association leadership towards strengthening the profession of lawyers in the Republic of Moldova.
In addition to bilateral meetings with the Bar Association management, its specialised committees, practicing lawyers, Young Lawyers' Association, Women Lawyers' Association, civil society representatives and development partners, an opening event was organised on 17 June to present Council of Europe standards, best practices and lessons learnt in the modernisation of the legal profession.
At the opening, Mrs Victoria Neaga, project manager at the EU Delegation to Moldova, outlined the importance of sustained reforms in the justice sector in the Republic of Moldova and the timeliness of support offered, jointly with the Council of Europe, to an enhance the quality of the legal profession in the country, given its role and place in the justice system. The Head of the Council of Europe Office in the Republic of Moldova, Mr Jose Luis Herrero, highlighted the significant role of the lawyers for an effective implementation of human rights and the rule of law to the benefit of Moldovan people. Mrs Nina Lozan, the President of the Moldovan Bar Association, welcomed the EU and Council of Europe's support to the profession and committed to working together towards a strengthened profession through better training, enhanced respect of ethics, improved disciplinary procedures and better self-governance.
The team of experts comprised of Mrs Marina Naumovska, Ms Olga Demian, Mr. Vahe Grigoryan, Mr. Rytis Jokubauskas shared with the audience a blend of Council of Europe standards, European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence and best practices on Bar Associations' management, ethical and disciplinary frameworks, continuous training and the protection of clients' personal data in Bar Associations' procedures. To facilitate the mainstreaming of cross-cutting issues in the project's implementation, the Chairwomen of the Women's Association offered an overview on the equality and representation within the Bar and its further collaborative aspirations.
The component on the "Support to the Moldovan Bar Association" of the "Strengthening the efficiency of justice and support to lawyers' profession in the Republic of Moldova" project is funded by the Programmatic Cooperation Framework for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. The Council of Europe and European Union are working in partnership with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus to help them meet Council of Europe benchmarks in human rights, democracy and the rule of law and improve the lives of citizens.