On October 17-18, 2019, Balkan Enforcement Initiative member-chambers organized their first Annual Balkan Enforcement Conference. The 2019 Conference congregated participants from four Western Balkan countries, members of the academia, national regulatory bodies, judiciaries, the business community, as well as representatives of respectable international structures, such as the EU, the International Union of Judicial Officers (UIHJ), and the French National Chamber of Judicial Officers.
The first day of the 2019 Balkan Enforcement Conference introduced a plenary session dedicated to an academic dialogue on current status of cross-border enforcement in the Western Balkan region, contrasted to the implementation of the European Enforcement Order within EU jurisdictions. Keynote speakers of the morning plenary session were distinguished law professors: Dr Ranka Račić, law faculties in Banja Luka, East Sarajevo and Podgorica, Dr Vangjel Kosta, Tirana School of Magistrates, Dr Ilija Rumenov, Faculty of Law Iustinianus Primus, University of Skopje, Dr Nikola Bodiroga, Law Faculty University of Belgrade, and Dr Gabriele Mecarelli, Jean Monet Faculty, University Paris-Sud. The academic dialogue was moderated by Mrs. Iva Peni from the French National Chamber of Judicial Officers – International and European Affairs Officer.
The afternoon session hosted a round table titled “Balkan Enforcement Order – from Concept to Reality”, fashioned as an open discussion on pros and cons of establishing a regional legal mechanism aimed at enhancing enforcement of cross-border claims in the Western Balkans. The participants to the round table included representatives of international entities (Mr. Alain Pilette, Deputy Director Justice, DG JAI Justice and Home Affairs, Chairman of the Working Groupon “e-Justice”, Council of the European Union, Mr. Marc Schmitz, President of International Union of Judicial Officers – UIHJ, Mr. Patrick Sannino, President of French National Chamber of Judicial Officers, and Mr. Patrick Safar, Vice-President of the French National Chamber of Judicial Officers, and member of the UIHJ Board), national regulatory bodies (Mr. Ibrahim Smailović, Director General of the Civil Legislation and Inspections Directorate, Ministry of Justice of Montenegro, Mr. Edvin Morava, Director of Human Resources, Asset Management and Services, Ministry of Justice of Albania, Mrs. Radica Lazarevska Geroska, State Advisor for Enforcement, Notaries and Mediation, Ministry of Justice of North Macedonia), members of the judiciary (Mr. Aleksandar
On the second day of the 2019 Balkan Enforcement Conference a workshop dealing with the costs of enforcement in the region was held. The workshop was moderated by judicial officers, representatives of present national chambers.
The overall conclusion of the 2019 Balkan Enforcement Conference is that at present there are a number of legislative obstacles in efficient cross-border collection of outstanding balances within the Western Balkan region. While initial efforts in improving the current situation can be based on advancement of standards of enforcement, based on best contemporary European practices, the final say so in the abolition of exequatur in the Western Balkan region will have to come from the executive, i.e. states themselves. Balkan Enforcement Initiative will do its best in advocating and advancing endeavours in this respect.