This year the Euréseau Spring Meeting was held in Sofia. Delegates from 12 different countries participated and the 3-day-event provided the framework not only for deep dive professional discussions, exchange, and presentations but also for experiencing a very beautiful Sofia and learning a lot about Bulgaria’s culture and cuisine.
The first evening on Friday started in a fantastic rooftop bar location overlooking beautiful Sofia with its marvelous churches and great architecture from the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Our Bulgarian hosts spoilt the delegates and guests with very tasty Bulgarian white, red and sparkling wines, and a selection of fine Bulgarian delicacies. The evening reception in this extraordinary location was followed by engaging discussions between the delegates in a very nice dinner location in downtown Sofia. The next day the hosts welcomed the delegates in the beautiful convention rooms of the classic Sofia Hotel Balkan right in the center of Sofia. The delegates were given a very interesting introduction to Bulgaria’s last 20 years of politics and emerging trade and commerce. In the afternoon the members led hot discussions about “Work or live? (Managing) Partners aiming for better personal balance - non-crisis opting out from the law firm”. Anelia Dinova started this discussion by giving interesting insights into new forms of partners’ engagement as regards “FlexAbility”.
After intense discussions of various partnership structures and their impact on work and life of partners, the delegates participated in a tour through the city of Sofia. The tour started right in front of the Sofia Hotel Balkan and led us to the ancient complex Serdica. This remarkable, partly covered excavation site, situated just above the Serdica metro station, displays the remains of the Roman City, Serdica, that once occupied that area. The remains were unearthed from 2010 – 2012 during the construction of the metro. Deep down in the underground the delegates and guests wandered on fragments of 8 streets, passing an early Christian basilica, baths and houses dating from the fourth to the sixth century BC. We were told that Sofia was originally named Serdica or Sardica after the Celtic Serdi tribe, which moved through the region at the time. For a short period during the fourth century BC the city was ruled by Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great. Around 29 BC Sofia was conquered by the Romans. We visited the beautiful St. George Rotunda (4th century) which is located just in the large courtyard of Sofia Hotel Balkan. Sofia’s architecture has been also shaped by the Byzantine times during which Sofia was a thriving center of trade and craft. From these times Sofia remained known for its goldsmithing particularly aided by the wealth of mineral resources in the neighboring mountains. Luckily enough we had the possibility to “climb” the mountains surrounding Sofia, which today offer beautiful hiking and skiing resorts. The city of Sofia displays beautiful architecture not only from the Ottoman period but also from the nineteenth and twentieth century, in particular buildings such as the National Art Gallery, the Presidency Building, and the National Opera.
The conference day came to a magnificent end in the restaurant “Vodenitzata”, a short way from Sofia’s downtown, nestled in Vitosha mountain, one of the loveliest Bulgarian mountains surrounding the city of Sofia. Vodenitzata means watermill and is still today a beautiful watermill with all its amenities including a very charming courtyard offering an outstanding restaurant atmosphere. Delegates and guests enjoyed an excellently prepared traditional Bulgarian meal. After dinner, a traditional orchestra started performing brilliant Bulgarian folk music and songs and invited specifically our Cypriot and Turkish delegates to participate in the folklore dancing and singing. The evening was topped off by a traditional fire dance performed in the restaurant garden based on a very old Christian Bulgarian tradition.
President Hans Oluf-Meyer thanked all of the hosts for making it possible to hold the conference meeting in the beautiful venue in this very traditional hotel and specifically thanked for the much appreciated key-note and the active participation in the discussion on how to value “elder” partners’ contributions to their law firms. Diana Valkova received a beautiful flower arrangement from the President as a small token of appreciation and thank you for the great organization and for making this spring meeting in Bulgaria possible and unforgettable.
The following video may give you a small impression of the very successful EuréseaU Spring Meeting in Sofia.
The Euréseau Autumn Meeting 2019 will take place on October 28 – November 3, 2019 in São Paulo, Brazil and in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil hosted by our member Bergamaschi & Bozzo Law Firm.
The EuréseaU Autumn Meeting 2023 will take place on October 13 - October 15, 2023 in Antwerp, Belgium hosted by our member firm LAWTREE Advocaten.