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From June 14 - 16, 2007, the Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives (BILI), an ABA legacy organization, convened the First Central and East European Rule of Law Symposium in Sofia. Over 125 participants from more than 15 countries in the region, Western Europe, and the United States gathered to discuss the rule of law in recently acceded and pre-accession countries in the region, including the implications for business, maintaining the will to reform after accession, and how to evaluate progress in reform, among many other topics. High-level representatives of the government, judiciary, NGO, academic, and business communities shared experiences in plenary and small-group sessions focusing on various topics important to rule of law reform in the region. Symposium participants underlined the importance of maintaining political will for reform, both before and after accession, and emphasized the role that civil society should play in reforms.
BILI will publish transcripts of the symposium sessions on their website at www.bili-bg.org. The symposium was made possible by major funding from Novator and support from the ABA Rule of Law Initiative and East West Institute. Additional support was provided by the ABA Section on International Law, the Open Society Institute – Sofia, the Union of Judges in Bulgaria, and the Union of Bulgarian Jurists.