EU instruments avaliable at a national level
Service of Documents between the Member States
Regulation No 1393/2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters aims to improve the transmission and service of documents within the European Union.
Under this Regulation, documents are transmitted and/or served through transmitting and receiving agencies. Furthermore, transmission and service are also possible through consular channels or even postal service.
Regulation No 1393/2007 is currently being revised and an expert group is working on potential e-Service of documents.
European Payment Order (EPO)
The EPO was introduced by the Regulation No 1896/2006 in order to simplify litigation in cross-border cases. The material scope of the regulation concerns uncontested pecuniary claims in civil and commercial matters.
In practice, the claimant has the possibility to submit an application using a standard form in order to collect a debt. The Court shall subsequently verify whether the claim complies with the requirements provided in the Regulation (e.g. cross border relevance). If all requirements are met, the EPO becomes enforceable.
The added value of this uniform approach lies in its simplicity, speed and cost. The procedure is written and there is no need to attend any Court hearings.
European Small Claims Procedure
In addition to the EPO, the EU has set up another debt collecting instrument. The European procedure for small claims was established by the Regulation No 861/2007.
Similarly to the EPO, this procedure was designed to offer a simple and efficient alternative to the procedures existing under the domestic laws of the Member States. This separate procedure concerns pecuniary claims up to 2.000 Euros.
European Account Preservation Order (EAPO)
Regulation No 655/2014 has introduced a European Account Preservation Order procedure to facilitate cross-border debt recovery in civil and commercial matters. This specific debt collecting instrument allows the creditor to freeze certain funds on the debtor’s bank account.
Thus, Courts can issue freezing measures in bank accounts located in other Member States.
Similarly to the above mentioned procedures, the EAPO can be initiated through simple application forms.
Brussels I and Brussels II
- Regulation No 1215/2012 (recast), also known as Brussels I, lays down a set of rules on jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. This regulation is the cornerstone of the governing rules applied by Court in all EU Member States and was designed to simplify conflicts of jurisdiction and rules on conflicts of laws.
- Regulation No 2201/2003, also known as Brussels II, concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial and parental responsibility matters. The regulation aims to simplify in one hand the conflict of jurisdiction and on the other recognition and enforcement of judgments throughout the EU Member States.