Effective judicial protection of credit rights in the European Union

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 by Marco C. Gonçalves, Professor of Civil Procedure, University of Minho

The free movement of people, goods and services in the European Union – as a fundamental pillar for the construction of an internal market – led, inevitably, to an increase of the cross-border disputes, that is to say, disputes that are connected with two or more different Member States.

Consequently, this requires the European Union to adopt appropriate procedural instruments to allow the fast and effective resolution of these conflicts, within an area of freedom, security and justice.

In this regard, it is a fact that the European Union has been adopting a set of normative instruments of particular importance to guarantee access to justice in civil and commercial matters, mainly focused on judicial cooperation between the different Member States. In particular, stands out the definition of common rules on jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters [1], service of judicial and extrajudicial acts [2], taking of evidence [3] and recovery of debts [4].

In any case, with regard to the judicial protection of credit rights in the European Union, the difficulties and problems that arise with regard to the effective satisfaction of creditors demand the urgent adoption of normative instruments that guarantee the protection and adequate satisfaction of these rights.
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Editorial of September 2017

Pile of debt

by Joana Covelo de Abreu, Junior Editor


Effective judicial protection concerning debt recovery: branding the judicial reentrée

The European Union is now living a post crisis’ recovery and, to achieve that, the Commission understood in its 2013 Citizenship Report the European Union was now pursuing two new goals: an economic recovery and a sustainable growth. To meet those political objectives, the European Union adopted Regulation (EU) No. 2015/2421 which revised both European Small Claims Procedure [Regulation (EC) No. 861/2007] and the European order for payment procedure [Regulation (EC) No. 1896/2006]. In fact, both these instruments were reputed, already in 2013, as being able to definitely influence European economic recovery by boosting Internal Market functioning and delivering better observance of fundamental freedoms by protecting those economic agents that interacted in a cross-border context.

The changes brought by Regulation No. 2015/2421 are applicable since 14th July 2017 and, so, as the courts’ recession is going on – for instance, in Portugal this started in the 16th July 2017 and it will end in the 31st August 2017 – the real impact of these legislative precisions are going only to be felt when the judicial réentrée happens.

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