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Resource Centre > Legislation > Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Commercial Matters

Relevant Treaty Articles:

 

  • Article 61 (this provision describes the scope of the policy of building an area of freedom, security and justice - part of which is judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters)
  • Article 65 (provides that measures in the field of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, having cross-border implications, to be taken in accordance with Article 67 (below), in so far as they are necessary for the proper functioning of the Internal Market, shall include some specified areas: such as recognition and enforcement of decisions, promoting the compatibility of the rules on confllict of laws, eliminating obstacles in the good functioning of civil proceedings, in particular by promoting compatibility of national civil procedure rules),
  • Article 67 (prescribes legislative procedure to be adopted when making legislation in the area: co-decision + consulting the European Economic and Social Committee).

 

Legislation

Council Regulation (EC) No. 1348/2000 of 29 May 2000 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil and commercial cases; 

Council Regulation (EC) No. 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil and commercial matters; 

Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgements in civil and commercial matters (Brussels I); 

It replaced the 1968 Brussels Convention on the jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgements in civil and commercial matters. It covers all Member States; including Denmark (here the provisions of the Regulation apply since 2007). The 1988 Lugano Convention covers the same issues – this applies to Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. 

The Regulation lays down common rules on the conflict of jurisdiction and facilitates recognition and enforcement of judgements and judicial decisions, as well as court settlements. 

See latest: Commission’s Green Paper and Report on the application of the Regulation: 

The Report is generally very positive about the practical effects of the Regulation (“which has facilitated cross-border litigation through an efficient system of judicial cooperation based on comprehensive jurisdiction rules, coordination of parallel proceedings, and circulation of judgments”), but it does point out several areas where developments have not been satisfactory and there is a need for improvement. There are also certain issues where the Regulation does not yet reach, or does not reach far enough – the Report also deals with those.

The Green Paper follows the Report and it is aimed at triggering debate concerning further changes in this area and amendments to the Regulation. Click here for a more detailed summary of the Green Paper's recommendations.

Brussels II (Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000)

Council Directive 2003/8/EC of 27 January 2003 to improve access to justice in cross-border disputes by establishing minimum common rules relating to legal aid for such disputes;

Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EC) No. 861/2007 of 11 July 2007 establishing a European Small Claims Procedure.

 

Drafts and policy papers:

See Commission's Communication on the action plan in the area of Freedom, Security and Justice, with a view to adoption of the Stockholm Action Plan in December 2009.