General corporate: Enforcing EU judgments

United Kingdom
Enforcing EU judgments

Worried about the cross-border enforcement of judgments, the Commission has proposed a number of key amendments to the 1968 Brussels Convention on the recognition and enforcement of judgments in the Member States.

The Commission is worried that the current rules are out-of-date and act as a disincentive to individuals and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) wishing to enforce their rights. Extra procedures, involving additional costs and delays, are required if a judgment obtained in one Member State is to be enforced in another.

The draft has three main aims:

  • ensuring that the enforcement of a judgment obtained in another Member State is virtually automatic;

  • revising the grounds on which a foreign judgment may be opposed; and

  • providing a uniform definition for provisional measures.

    Four areas are identified where differing national procedures create difficulties:

    • speedy debt recovery;

    • attachment of funds (seizure of bank accounts);

    • transparency of assets; and

    • international co-operation.

    To become law, these proposals will require the unanimous support of Member States.