Evaluation European Enforcement Order
On 1 November 2023, Jos Hoevenaars re-joined Erasmus School of Law after completing a one-year research project at the Dutch Council for the Judiciary which focused on questions of effectiveness of judgments in the Dutch legal system (report available early 2024). Previously, he was part of our ERC ‘Building EU civil justice’ team, where his research focused mainly on (self)representation in court and access to justice in a cross-border context. In 2022, he was the executive project manager for a study commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security and its Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) that looked into the usefulness and necessity of a litigation fund for collective actions in the Netherlands (Dutch report available here, English book forthcoming).
The coming years he will strengthen the Vici ‘Affordable Access to Justice’ team, focusing on costs and funding of collective actions, and he will develop a new line of research in the area of strategic litigation in which he will investigate the collective and representative action field from a legal mobilisation perspective. He will also play a role in the setting up of a European Civil Justice Centre.
Published: February 1, 2021
The European Order for Payment Regulation became applicable in 2005 and aims to smoothen cross-border enforcement of debts. After the partial abolition of exequatur in the enforcement rules on parental responsibility in the Brussels II-bis Regulation, it was the first broad instrument to abolish intermediate proceedings for enforcement in civil and commercial matters as far is it concerns an uncontested claim. For that purpose it introduces a number of minimum norms of civil procedure, in particular on the service of documents and information. This instrument was followed by a number of other instruments, including the European order for payment procedure, the Small Claims procedure and the Account preservation order, that advanced the harmonisation of civil procedure and the abolition of exequatur. With the Brussels I-bis Regulation becoming applicable in 2015, the abolition of exequatur with the aim to simplify cross-border enforcement reached its momentum.
Fifteen years after the European Enforcement Order Regulation became applicable it was high time that the Regulation be evaluated. Xandra Kramer acted as national reporter for the Netherlands. In addition, she wrote a response to the public consultation on the request of the European Law Institute (here) and participated to an opinion of the EAPIL (here).
Apart from evaluating the overall functioning in the Member States, the question is also whether it is still a useful instrument considering the enactment of new instruments and the abolition of exequatur under Brussels I-bis. While it is still used in the Netherlands and part of the other Member States, the undesired multiplicity and incoherence of instruments in the area of European civil procedure coupled with the inherent complexity of the present Regulation cast doubt. While it has served its purpose in enhancing access to justice its value in the present European civil justice system is very limited.