The European Lawyers Foundation (ELF), in partnership with the Spanish Bar, the Athens Bar, the Italian Bar, the Irish Law Society and the Polish Legal advisors, implemented the TRALIM project over the last 12 months. TRALIM stands for Training of lawyers on the European law relating to immigration and asylum and it was awarded funding by DG Justice. The main achievements of the project were to train more lawyers than foreseen (150 lawyers instead of 130 committed to the European Commission) for a lower cost (20% savings from the forecast budget), all by ensuring high quality of training, smooth organisation of the four training events and high satisfaction of participants and speakers who enthusiastically took part (average satisfaction rate of 4.22/5).
The project was a win-win situation for all the parties directly or indirectly involved. First of all, 150 lawyers from the partner countries received good training from speakers with extensive experience in immigration and asylum cases. The lawyers also had the chance to find out more about the legal framework and procedures followed in other countries and to exchange experiences and business cards with their counterparts from these other countries. The 150 trained lawyers are now more familiar with EU immigration and asylum law, which puts them in a position to offer better advice to their clients when dealing with such cases. Through a multiplier effect, well-trained lawyers can potentially become trainers at national level and disseminate the knowledge they obtained during the TRALIM seminars. Further, partner bars had a unique chance through this project to organise low-cost training activities for their members, with control over the selection processes for national speakers and participants.
The legal aspects linked to the ongoing refugee crisis will continue to be an important issue for the EU and for lawyers practising in EU Member States for years to come. Therefore, building on the success of the TRALIM project, ELF is now working on a continuation, which aims to extend the number of lawyers trained. Further, this new project will include additional seminars on the topic of unaccompanied minor migrants. A new component is also being considered, namely the inclusion of funds for some of the participating lawyers to go to migration hotspots for a short period of time. This will allow these lawyers to become familiar with the situation in the hotspots and to learn from local lawyers who represent migrants in these places. The continuation project will be presented to the EU for funding, and it will show the commitment of EU lawyers to the protection of migrant rights.