Friday, 7 December 2012

Adoption of new Brussels I

Yesterday the Council of the EU adopted the "Brussels I" reform (see our previous post EP endorses Brussels I reform), which means that upon the publication in the Official Journal this new Regulation will enter into force (and become applicable two years thereafter, repealing the existing Brussels I Regulation). The reform is to simplify for business and consumers rules to determine which national court has jurisdiction in cross-border cases and how judgments of courts of one Member State are recognised in another Member State. One of the changes is the abolishment of the expensive 'exequatur' procedure which required companies to obtain a judgment in civil and commercial matters in courts of one Member State before it could be recognised in another EU country (new rules would enable automatic enforceability of judgments across the EU). Another change that was a bit more controversial, but seems to have been pushed forward (see the text adopted by the EP in November can be found here), was to allow consumers to go to a court in the EU Member State in which the consumer was domiciled also against business located outside the EU (see art. 6(1) in connection with art. 18(1)).

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