Civil & Procedural Law
Responsibility for the law on judicial and extra-judicial proceedings traditionally lies with the Member States. As a result of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has attained not-insignificant powers in this area and is making increasing use of them. On the agenda are also questions about the harmonisation of substantive law. cep analyses EU legislative proposals which are of economic relevance in the judicial field.
Reform of the EU Small Claims Procedure (Regulation)
The European small claims procedure will be made more attractive for consumers and small businesses.
Collective Redress: Representative and Class Actions (Recommendation)
The Commission recommends that the Member States introduce collective actions. Collective actions refers to actions brought by two or more affected parties or by an authority or entity on their behalf. Collective actions should facilitate the enforcement of legal rights, particularly where individual actions are too costly for affected parties.
Actions for Damages under Competition Law (Directive)
EU competition law is enforced by competition authorities who find infringements of competition law and, where applicable, impose fines, and by victims who bring actions for damages before national courts. With this Directive, the Commission is seeking, on the one hand, to ensure that victims of an infringement of competition law throughout the EU are able to enforce their right to full damages. On the other hand, it wants to ensure the coordination of enforcement by way of actions for damages and enforcement by way of the competition authorities.
Cross-border insolvencies (Regulation)
The Commission revises the legal framework for cross-border insolvencies. There should (preferably) be integrated insolvency proceedings by applying just one (national) insolvency regime in each case.
Business Insolvency (Communication)
The Commission is considering a partial harmonisation of the insolvency law of the Member States. This is intended to facilitate the reorganisation rather than liquidation of businesses and provide entrepreneurs with a "second chance".
Cross-Border Attachment of Bank Accounts (Regulation)
The Proposal provides for an introduction of a European Account Preservation Order. Such order is to be issued if the existence of a debt claim is made credible. For the enforcement of a decision, Member States must appoint enforcement authorities which must approve the order without any further examination and preserve the debtor’s bank account. If the creditor does not know the debtors’ bank accounts, banks are obliged to disclose them or authorities are entitled to search for them in national registers. Debtors are not being notified until after the preservation of their accounts.
European Contract Law (Green Paper)
The aim of this Green Paper is to outline options for developing a European contract law (available in all official languages). To this end, the Commission presents for discussion various options for an “instrument of European contract law”. By this it means a construct of EU contract laws which needs further developing in particular with regard to the degree of its legally binding nature (legal form), the regulation radius (material scope) and the applicability to contract relations that do not cross borders.
European Judicial Area (Communication)
The action plan is intended to implement the objectives laid down in the Stockholm Programme. It cites 354 measures and a precise timetable for this purpose.
Amendment of EU Jurisdiction and Enforcement Regulation (Green Paper)
The EU Commission opens up a consultation on possible amendments of the European Jurisdiction and Enforcement Regulation [“Brussels I“ / (EC) No. 44/2001]. It instigates a discussion on how to abolish conflicts of jurisdiction and impediments to the enforcement of court decisions in the international legal order.
Late Payment (Directive)
The EU wishes to combat late payment by businesses and public authorities. Therefore, it has submitted a Directive Proposal amending and complementing the existing Directive in essential parts. Particularly the enforcement of recovery costs is to be facilitated. In addition, special rules for public authorities are to be introduced for public authorities in delay.
Mechanisms for Consumer Collective Redress (Green Paper)
Regarding mass claim cases the Commission wants to open up the possibilities of collective redress for damages claims or develop existing possibilities. To this end, in its Green Paper it presents different options to address the issue which have an effect on cross-border cases as well as purely national ones. It further considers to introduce standardised judicial procedures for collective redress.