Commission cuts red tape in cross border court cases for businesses and consumers

07.12.2012 - 11:33

Justice Ministers adopted yesterday the Commission’s proposal to cut red tape in cross-border court cases. Businesses and consumers from now on will be able to resolve their cross-border disputes easily. Abolishing red tape is expected to save businesses and consumers up to EUR 48 million a year.

Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner said: "This reform will cut red tape for thousands of consumers and companies around Europe, reducing legal headaches and making it easier to do business in the Single Market. I am grateful to the Cypriot Presidency for helping to ensure the new rules could be adopted before the end of the year".

The reform was proposed by the Commission in December 2010 and its main aim is to strengthen the single market and eliminate bureaucracy. It includes four key changes: abolition of the cumbersome “exequatur” procedure,enhancing consumer protection with regard to legal disputes involving non-EU countries, bringing legal certainty to choice of court agreements between companies, and strengthening the competitiveness of Europe’s arbitration industry.

The European Commission’s proposals first got support in a European Parliament vote on20 November 2012. “Removing bureaucratic obstacles, extra costs and the legal uncertainty of having 27 different and often contradictory systems makes the single market more attractive. This is a very good example of how justice policies can stimulate growth,” stressed Reding. The Regulation will enter force following its publication in the EU’s Official Journal in the coming weeks; it will enter into application 2 years thereafter.