BETA


2018/0203(COD) Cooperation between the courts: taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters

Progress: Awaiting Council 1st reading position / budgetary conciliation convocation

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead JURI RADEV Emil (icon: PPE PPE) COFFERATI Sergio Gaetano (icon: S&D S&D), DZHAMBAZKI Angel (icon: ECR ECR), CHRYSOGONOS Kostas (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
TFEU 081-p3-a1

Events

2019/04/16
   Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2019/02/13
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2019/02/13
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 554 votes to 26, with 9 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters.

The European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure amended the Commission proposal as follows.

Regulation’s objective

This Regulation seeks to improve the efficacy and speed of judicial proceedings by simplifying and streamlining the mechanisms for cooperation in the taking of evidence in cross-border proceedings, while at the same time helping to reduce delays and costs for individuals and businesses. In addition, greater legal certainty, coupled with simpler, streamlined and digitalised procedures can encourage individuals and businesses to engage in cross-border transactions.

Definition of the term ‘court’

Parliament considered that the term ‘court’ shall be given a broad meaning so as to cover not only courts in the strict sense of the word, that exercise judicial functions, but also other bodies or authorities which are competent under national law to take evidence in accordance with this Regulation, such as enforcement authorities or notaries in certain Member States and in specific situations.

Transmission of requests and other communications

Requests and communications pursuant to the Regulation shall be transmitted through a decentralised IT system composed of national IT systems interconnected by a communication infrastructure and enabling the safe, secure and reliable cross-border exchange of information, including in real time, between the national IT systems, with due respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. The decentralised IT system shall be based on the e-CODEX system and shall be managed by eu-LISA. The Commission shall submit, as soon as possible, and in any event before the end of 2019, a proposal for a Regulation on cross-border communication in judicial proceedings (e-CODEX).

Direct taking of the evidence by means of remote communication technology

Where evidence is to be taken by hearing a person domiciled in another Member State as witness, party or expert and the court does not request the competent court of another Member State to take evidence, the court shall take evidence directly via videoconference or via any other appropriate distance communication technology , if available to the respective courts, unless, on account of the specific circumstances of the case, the use of such technology is deemed inappropriate for the fair conduct of the proceedings.

Where required by the national law of the requesting Member State, the use of videoconferencing or any other appropriate means of distance communication shall be subject to the consent of the person to be heard.

Hearings

The court shall notify the person to be heard, the parties, including their respective legal representatives, of the date, time and place of, and the conditions for participation in, the hearing via videoconference or via any other appropriate distance communication technology. The parties and their legal representatives shall be provided, by the relevant court, with instructions as to the procedure for presenting documents or other material during the hearing via videoconference or via any other appropriate distance communication technology.

Data protection

Any processing of personal data carried out pursuant to this Regulation, including the exchange or transmission of personal data by the competent authorities, shall be in conformity with Union data protection law. Personal data which are not relevant for the handling of a specific case shall be immediately deleted.

Any electronic system for the taking of evidence shall ensure that professional secrecy and legal professional privilege are protected.

Mutual recognition

In order to ensure mutual recognition of digital evidence, such evidence taken in a Member State in accordance with its law should not be denied recognition as evidence in other Member States because of its digital nature. That principle shall be without prejudice to determining, in accordance with national law, the level of quality and the value of evidence, regardless of its digital or non-digital nature.

Documents
2018/12/19
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The Committee on Legal Affairs adopted the report by Emil RADEV (EPP, BG) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters.

The committee recommended that the European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission proposal as follows.

Definition of the term ‘court’

For the purposes of this Regulation, the term ‘court’ shall be given a broad meaning so as to cover not only courts in the strict sense of the word, that exercise judicial functions, but also other bodies or authorities which are competent under national law to take evidence in accordance with this Regulation, such as enforcement authorities or notaries in certain Member States and in specific situations.

Taking evidence

The procedures for taking, preserving and presenting evidence shall ensure that the procedural rights of the parties, as well as the protection, integrity and confidentiality of personal data and privacy, are protected in accordance with Union law.

Any electronic system for the taking of evidence shall ensure that professional secrecy and legal professional privilege are protected. The taking of evidence shall be performed under the supervision of the requesting court, in accordance with its national law.

Hearings

The court shall notify the person to be heard, the parties, including their respective legal representatives, of the date, time and place of, and the conditions for participation in, the hearing via videoconference or via any other appropriate distance communication technology. The parties and their legal representatives shall be provided, by the relevant court, with instructions as to the procedure for presenting documents or other material during the hearing via videoconference or via any other appropriate distance communication technology.

Distance communication

Members stressed that where required by the national law of the requesting Member State, the use of videoconference or any other appropriate distance communication technology shall be subject to the consent of the person to be heard.

Data protection

Any processing of personal data carried out pursuant to this Regulation, including the exchange or transmission of personal data by the competent authorities, shall be in conformity with Union data protection law. Personal data which are not relevant for the handling of a specific case shall be immediately deleted.

Evaluation

Members proposed that by one year after the date of entry into force at the latest, the Commission shall establish a detailed programme for monitoring the outputs, results and impacts of this Regulation. No later than four years after the date of application of this Regulation, the Commission shall carry out an evaluation of this Regulation and present a report on the main findings, accompanied, where appropriate, by a legislative proposal.

Documents
2018/12/10
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2018/10/30
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2018/10/17
   ESC - Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report
Documents
2018/10/15
   PT_PARLIAMENT - Contribution
Documents
2018/10/03
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2018/09/25
   DE_BUNDESRAT - Contribution
Documents
2018/09/24
   EP - RADEV Emil (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in JURI
2018/09/10
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2018/05/31
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2018/05/31
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2018/05/31
   EC - Legislative proposal published
Details

PURPOSE: to improve the smooth functioning of the area of freedom, security and justice, and of the internal market, by increasing the efficiency and speed of the cross-border taking of evidence.

PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.

ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: the European Parliament decides in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and on an equal footing with the Council.

BACKGROUND: the area of justice requires judicial cooperation across borders. For this purpose, and to facilitate the proper functioning of the internal market, the EU adopted Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters and Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence. These instruments are crucial in the regulation of judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters between the Member States.

In 2018, approximately 3.4 million civil and commercial court proceedings in the EU have cross-border implications . In many such proceedings, there is a need to obtain evidence from another Member State; the Regulation on the taking of evidence provides tools that facilitate access to that evidence.

In 2017, to support relevant, comprehensive and up-to-date analysis and conclusions on the practical operation of the Regulation, the Commission undertook a regulatory fitness (REFIT) evaluation.

The findings showed that contacts between the bodies designated by the Regulation are still almost exclusively paper-based , with adverse impacts on cost and effectiveness. Also, videoconferencing is rarely used to hear persons in another Member State.

The proposal therefore addresses the need for modernisation, in particular digitalisation and the use of modern technology in the cross-border taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters . It also addresses the following other problems highlighted by the evaluation: delays and costs for citizens, businesses and Member States, shortcomings in the protection of procedural rights and legal complexity and uncertainty.

The proposal is closely linked to the proposal amending the Regulation on cross-border service.

IMPACT ASSESSMENT: the preferred option is a policy package involving a number of measures :

using electronic transmission as the default channel for electronic communication and document exchanges; promoting modern means of taking evidence such as videoconferencing if a person needs to be heard from another Member State and incentives (via the financing of national projects) for Member States to equip courts with videoconferencing facilities; removing legal barriers to the acceptance of electronic (digital) evidence; tackling divergent interpretations of the term ‘court’; raising courts’ and legal professionals’ awareness of the availability of the direct channel of taking evidence under the Regulation.

CONTENT: the proposal aims to improve the efficiency and speed of obtaining cross-border evidence . To this end, it adapts Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 to technical developments, exploiting the advantages of digitisation and ensuring greater use of videoconferencing.

In concrete terms, the proposed amendments:

define the term ‘court’ to mean any judicial authority in a Member State which is competent for the performance of taking of evidence according to this Regulation; introduce the mandatory electronic transmission , as a rule, of requests and communications. In exceptional cases, i.e. where the system is interrupted or not suitable for the transmission in question (e.g. transmission of a DNA sample as evidence), other channels can still be used; ensure a more appropriate, more frequent and faster use of direct taking of evidence via videoconference , where available to the courts in question and appropriate in the light of the specific circumstances of the case; facilitate the taking of evidence by diplomatic officers or consular agents . The Article provides that such persons may, in the territory of another Member State and in the area where they exercise their functions, take evidence without the need for a prior request, by hearing nationals of the Member State which they represent without compulsion in the context of proceedings pending in the courts of that Member State; ensure that digital evidence taken in accordance with the law of the Member State where it was taken is not rejected as evidence in other Member States solely due to its digital nature.

BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS: the proposal will not impose significant costs on national administrations, but rather lead to savings . Costs relating to the development, implementation and maintenance of electronic communication and document exchanges, and to the acquisition, implementation and operation of professional, high-end videoconferencing equipment could be co-funded.

The main EU funding opportunities under the current financial programmes are the Justice programme and the Connecting Europe Facility ( CEF ). The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) package for the digital transformation priority, as unveiled on 2 May 2018, includes EUR 3 billion for a digital strand of the CEF , to finance digital connectivity infrastructure.

Documents

  • Commission response to text adopted in plenary: SP(2019)354
  • Results of vote in Parliament: Results of vote in Parliament
  • Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading: T8-0103/2019
  • Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading: A8-0477/2018
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE629.633
  • Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report: CES3992/2018
  • Contribution: COM(2018)0378
  • Committee draft report: PE628.500
  • Contribution: COM(2018)0378
  • Document attached to the procedure: EUR-Lex
  • Document attached to the procedure: SWD(2018)0284
  • Document attached to the procedure: EUR-Lex
  • Document attached to the procedure: SWD(2018)0285
  • Legislative proposal published: COM(2018)0378
  • Legislative proposal published: EUR-Lex
  • Document attached to the procedure: EUR-Lex SWD(2018)0284
  • Document attached to the procedure: EUR-Lex SWD(2018)0285
  • Committee draft report: PE628.500
  • Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report: CES3992/2018
  • Amendments tabled in committee: PE629.633
  • Commission response to text adopted in plenary: SP(2019)354
  • Contribution: COM(2018)0378
  • Contribution: COM(2018)0378

Votes

A8-0477/2018 - Emil Radev - Vote unique 13/02/2019 17:05:20.000

2019/02/13 Outcome: +: 554, -: 26, 0: 9
DE FR IT PL ES RO GB BE CZ AT BG PT HU SE NL FI SK HR DK EL LT IE SI LU LV MT EE CY ??
Total
73
63
55
46
43
23
54
18
19
17
14
17
13
12
23
11
11
10
12
11
8
7
7
6
6
5
3
1
1
icon: PPE PPE
169

United Kingdom PPE

2

Belgium PPE

3

Finland PPE

2

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Greece PPE

1

Luxembourg PPE

3

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
148

Czechia S&D

3

Bulgaria S&D

2

Hungary S&D

2

Netherlands S&D

3

Croatia S&D

For (1)

1

Lithuania S&D

1

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Latvia S&D

1

Malta S&D

2
icon: ALDE ALDE
58

Germany ALDE

3

Romania ALDE

For (1)

1

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Portugal ALDE

1

Sweden ALDE

2

Croatia ALDE

2

Denmark ALDE

2

Lithuania ALDE

2

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

2
icon: ECR ECR
56

Czechia ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

1

Netherlands ECR

2
2

Slovakia ECR

2

Croatia ECR

For (1)

1

Greece ECR

Against (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

1

Latvia ECR

For (1)

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
42

Italy Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

4

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Hungary Verts/ALE

2

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Croatia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
38

Italy GUE/NGL

2

Portugal GUE/NGL

For (1)

4

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

1
icon: ENF ENF
32
2

United Kingdom ENF

2

Belgium ENF

For (1)

1

Netherlands ENF

3
icon: NI NI
13

Germany NI

Abstain (1)

1

France NI

For (1)

1

United Kingdom NI

For (1)

Against (1)

2

Hungary NI

For (1)

1

Denmark NI

1

NI

For (1)

1
icon: EFDD EFDD
33

Germany EFDD

For (1)

1

Poland EFDD

1

Czechia EFDD

Against (1)

1

Lithuania EFDD

For (1)

1
AmendmentsDossier
65 2018/0203(COD)
2018/10/30 JURI 65 amendments...
source: 629.633

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

committees/0
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Responsible Committee
body
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Legal Affairs
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JURI
rapporteur
name: RADEV Emil date: 2018-09-24T00:00:00 group: European People's Party (Christian Democrats) abbr: PPE
shadows
committees/0
type
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body
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committee_full
Legal Affairs
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JURI
date
2018-09-24T00:00:00
rapporteur
name: RADEV Emil group: European People's Party (Christian Democrats) abbr: PPE
shadows
links
Research document
activities
  • date: 2018-05-31T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2018/0378/COM_COM(2018)0378_EN.pdf title: COM(2018)0378 type: Legislative proposal published celexid: CELEX:52018PC0378:EN body: EC commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/justice-and-consumers_en title: Justice and Consumers Commissioner: TIMMERMANS Frans type: Legislative proposal published
  • date: 2018-09-10T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP shadows: group: S&D name: COFFERATI Sergio Gaetano responsible: True committee_full: Legal Affairs committee: JURI
commission
  • body: EC dg: Justice and Consumers commissioner: TIMMERMANS Frans
committees/0
type
Responsible Committee
body
EP
associated
False
committee_full
Legal Affairs
committee
JURI
date
2018-09-24T00:00:00
rapporteur
name: RADEV Emil group: European People's Party (Christian Democrats) abbr: PPE
shadows
committees/0
body
EP
shadows
group: S&D name: COFFERATI Sergio Gaetano
responsible
True
committee_full
Legal Affairs
committee
JURI
docs
  • date: 2018-05-31T00:00:00 docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=SWD:2018:0284:FIN:EN:PDF title: EUR-Lex title: SWD(2018)0284 type: Document attached to the procedure body: EC
  • date: 2018-05-31T00:00:00 docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=SWD:2018:0285:FIN:EN:PDF title: EUR-Lex title: SWD(2018)0285 type: Document attached to the procedure body: EC
  • date: 2018-10-03T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE628.500 title: PE628.500 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2018-10-17T00:00:00 docs: title: CES3992/2018 type: Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report body: ESC
  • date: 2018-10-30T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE629.633 title: PE629.633 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2019-04-16T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=32008&j=0&l=en title: SP(2019)354 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
  • date: 2018-09-25T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2018)0378 title: COM(2018)0378 type: Contribution body: DE_BUNDESRAT
  • date: 2018-10-15T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2018)0378 title: COM(2018)0378 type: Contribution body: PT_PARLIAMENT
events
  • date: 2018-05-31T00:00:00 type: Legislative proposal published body: EC docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2018/0378/COM_COM(2018)0378_EN.pdf title: COM(2018)0378 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2018&nu_doc=0378 title: EUR-Lex summary: PURPOSE: to improve the smooth functioning of the area of freedom, security and justice, and of the internal market, by increasing the efficiency and speed of the cross-border taking of evidence. PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council. ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: the European Parliament decides in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and on an equal footing with the Council. BACKGROUND: the area of justice requires judicial cooperation across borders. For this purpose, and to facilitate the proper functioning of the internal market, the EU adopted Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters and Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence. These instruments are crucial in the regulation of judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters between the Member States. In 2018, approximately 3.4 million civil and commercial court proceedings in the EU have cross-border implications . In many such proceedings, there is a need to obtain evidence from another Member State; the Regulation on the taking of evidence provides tools that facilitate access to that evidence. In 2017, to support relevant, comprehensive and up-to-date analysis and conclusions on the practical operation of the Regulation, the Commission undertook a regulatory fitness (REFIT) evaluation. The findings showed that contacts between the bodies designated by the Regulation are still almost exclusively paper-based , with adverse impacts on cost and effectiveness. Also, videoconferencing is rarely used to hear persons in another Member State. The proposal therefore addresses the need for modernisation, in particular digitalisation and the use of modern technology in the cross-border taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters . It also addresses the following other problems highlighted by the evaluation: delays and costs for citizens, businesses and Member States, shortcomings in the protection of procedural rights and legal complexity and uncertainty. The proposal is closely linked to the proposal amending the Regulation on cross-border service. IMPACT ASSESSMENT: the preferred option is a policy package involving a number of measures : using electronic transmission as the default channel for electronic communication and document exchanges; promoting modern means of taking evidence such as videoconferencing if a person needs to be heard from another Member State and incentives (via the financing of national projects) for Member States to equip courts with videoconferencing facilities; removing legal barriers to the acceptance of electronic (digital) evidence; tackling divergent interpretations of the term ‘court’; raising courts’ and legal professionals’ awareness of the availability of the direct channel of taking evidence under the Regulation. CONTENT: the proposal aims to improve the efficiency and speed of obtaining cross-border evidence . To this end, it adapts Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 to technical developments, exploiting the advantages of digitisation and ensuring greater use of videoconferencing. In concrete terms, the proposed amendments: define the term ‘court’ to mean any judicial authority in a Member State which is competent for the performance of taking of evidence according to this Regulation; introduce the mandatory electronic transmission , as a rule, of requests and communications. In exceptional cases, i.e. where the system is interrupted or not suitable for the transmission in question (e.g. transmission of a DNA sample as evidence), other channels can still be used; ensure a more appropriate, more frequent and faster use of direct taking of evidence via videoconference , where available to the courts in question and appropriate in the light of the specific circumstances of the case; facilitate the taking of evidence by diplomatic officers or consular agents . The Article provides that such persons may, in the territory of another Member State and in the area where they exercise their functions, take evidence without the need for a prior request, by hearing nationals of the Member State which they represent without compulsion in the context of proceedings pending in the courts of that Member State; ensure that digital evidence taken in accordance with the law of the Member State where it was taken is not rejected as evidence in other Member States solely due to its digital nature. BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS: the proposal will not impose significant costs on national administrations, but rather lead to savings . Costs relating to the development, implementation and maintenance of electronic communication and document exchanges, and to the acquisition, implementation and operation of professional, high-end videoconferencing equipment could be co-funded. The main EU funding opportunities under the current financial programmes are the Justice programme and the Connecting Europe Facility ( CEF ). The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) package for the digital transformation priority, as unveiled on 2 May 2018, includes EUR 3 billion for a digital strand of the CEF , to finance digital connectivity infrastructure.
  • date: 2018-09-10T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2018-12-10T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2018-12-19T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A8-2018-0477&language=EN title: A8-0477/2018 summary: The Committee on Legal Affairs adopted the report by Emil RADEV (EPP, BG) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters. The committee recommended that the European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission proposal as follows. Definition of the term ‘court’ For the purposes of this Regulation, the term ‘court’ shall be given a broad meaning so as to cover not only courts in the strict sense of the word, that exercise judicial functions, but also other bodies or authorities which are competent under national law to take evidence in accordance with this Regulation, such as enforcement authorities or notaries in certain Member States and in specific situations. Taking evidence The procedures for taking, preserving and presenting evidence shall ensure that the procedural rights of the parties, as well as the protection, integrity and confidentiality of personal data and privacy, are protected in accordance with Union law. Any electronic system for the taking of evidence shall ensure that professional secrecy and legal professional privilege are protected. The taking of evidence shall be performed under the supervision of the requesting court, in accordance with its national law. Hearings The court shall notify the person to be heard, the parties, including their respective legal representatives, of the date, time and place of, and the conditions for participation in, the hearing via videoconference or via any other appropriate distance communication technology. The parties and their legal representatives shall be provided, by the relevant court, with instructions as to the procedure for presenting documents or other material during the hearing via videoconference or via any other appropriate distance communication technology. Distance communication Members stressed that where required by the national law of the requesting Member State, the use of videoconference or any other appropriate distance communication technology shall be subject to the consent of the person to be heard. Data protection Any processing of personal data carried out pursuant to this Regulation, including the exchange or transmission of personal data by the competent authorities, shall be in conformity with Union data protection law. Personal data which are not relevant for the handling of a specific case shall be immediately deleted. Evaluation Members proposed that by one year after the date of entry into force at the latest, the Commission shall establish a detailed programme for monitoring the outputs, results and impacts of this Regulation. No later than four years after the date of application of this Regulation, the Commission shall carry out an evaluation of this Regulation and present a report on the main findings, accompanied, where appropriate, by a legislative proposal.
  • date: 2019-02-13T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=32008&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2019-02-13T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P8-TA-2019-0103 title: T8-0103/2019 summary: The European Parliament adopted by 554 votes to 26, with 9 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters. The European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure amended the Commission proposal as follows. Regulation’s objective This Regulation seeks to improve the efficacy and speed of judicial proceedings by simplifying and streamlining the mechanisms for cooperation in the taking of evidence in cross-border proceedings, while at the same time helping to reduce delays and costs for individuals and businesses. In addition, greater legal certainty, coupled with simpler, streamlined and digitalised procedures can encourage individuals and businesses to engage in cross-border transactions. Definition of the term ‘court’ Parliament considered that the term ‘court’ shall be given a broad meaning so as to cover not only courts in the strict sense of the word, that exercise judicial functions, but also other bodies or authorities which are competent under national law to take evidence in accordance with this Regulation, such as enforcement authorities or notaries in certain Member States and in specific situations. Transmission of requests and other communications Requests and communications pursuant to the Regulation shall be transmitted through a decentralised IT system composed of national IT systems interconnected by a communication infrastructure and enabling the safe, secure and reliable cross-border exchange of information, including in real time, between the national IT systems, with due respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. The decentralised IT system shall be based on the e-CODEX system and shall be managed by eu-LISA. The Commission shall submit, as soon as possible, and in any event before the end of 2019, a proposal for a Regulation on cross-border communication in judicial proceedings (e-CODEX). Direct taking of the evidence by means of remote communication technology Where evidence is to be taken by hearing a person domiciled in another Member State as witness, party or expert and the court does not request the competent court of another Member State to take evidence, the court shall take evidence directly via videoconference or via any other appropriate distance communication technology , if available to the respective courts, unless, on account of the specific circumstances of the case, the use of such technology is deemed inappropriate for the fair conduct of the proceedings. Where required by the national law of the requesting Member State, the use of videoconferencing or any other appropriate means of distance communication shall be subject to the consent of the person to be heard. Hearings The court shall notify the person to be heard, the parties, including their respective legal representatives, of the date, time and place of, and the conditions for participation in, the hearing via videoconference or via any other appropriate distance communication technology. The parties and their legal representatives shall be provided, by the relevant court, with instructions as to the procedure for presenting documents or other material during the hearing via videoconference or via any other appropriate distance communication technology. Data protection Any processing of personal data carried out pursuant to this Regulation, including the exchange or transmission of personal data by the competent authorities, shall be in conformity with Union data protection law. Personal data which are not relevant for the handling of a specific case shall be immediately deleted. Any electronic system for the taking of evidence shall ensure that professional secrecy and legal professional privilege are protected. Mutual recognition In order to ensure mutual recognition of digital evidence, such evidence taken in a Member State in accordance with its law should not be denied recognition as evidence in other Member States because of its digital nature. That principle shall be without prejudice to determining, in accordance with national law, the level of quality and the value of evidence, regardless of its digital or non-digital nature.
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/justice-and-consumers_en title: Justice and Consumers commissioner: TIMMERMANS Frans
otherinst
  • name: European Economic and Social Committee
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European Economic and Social Committee
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Rules of Procedure EP 159
procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
Old
JURI/8/13538
New
  • JURI/8/13538
procedure/instrument
Old
Regulation
New
  • Regulation
  • Amending Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 2000/0823(CNS)
procedure/other_consulted_institutions
European Economic and Social Committee
procedure/stage_reached
Old
Awaiting committee decision
New
Awaiting Council 1st reading position / budgetary conciliation convocation
procedure/subject
Old
  • 7.40.02 Judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters
New
7.40.02
Judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters
procedure/summary
  • Amending Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001
activities/0/docs/0/text
  • PURPOSE: to improve the smooth functioning of the area of freedom, security and justice, and of the internal market, by increasing the efficiency and speed of the cross-border taking of evidence.

    PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.

    ROLE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: the European Parliament decides in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure and on an equal footing with the Council.

    BACKGROUND: the area of justice requires judicial cooperation across borders. For this purpose, and to facilitate the proper functioning of the internal market, the EU adopted Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters and Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence. These instruments are crucial in the regulation of judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters between the Member States.

    In 2018, approximately 3.4 million civil and commercial court proceedings in the EU have cross-border implications. In many such proceedings, there is a need to obtain evidence from another Member State; the Regulation on the taking of evidence provides tools that facilitate access to that evidence.

    In 2017, to support relevant, comprehensive and up-to-date analysis and conclusions on the practical operation of the Regulation, the Commission undertook a regulatory fitness (REFIT) evaluation.

    The findings showed that contacts between the bodies designated by the Regulation are still almost exclusively paper-based, with adverse impacts on cost and effectiveness. Also, videoconferencing is rarely used to hear persons in another Member State.

    The proposal therefore addresses the need for modernisation, in particular digitalisation and the use of modern technology in the cross-border taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters. It also addresses the following other problems highlighted by the evaluation: delays and costs for citizens, businesses and Member States, shortcomings in the protection of procedural rights and legal complexity and uncertainty.

    The proposal is closely linked to the proposal amending the Regulation on cross-border service.

    IMPACT ASSESSMENT: the preferred option is a policy package involving a number of measures

    • using electronic transmission as the default channel for electronic communication and document exchanges; 
    • promoting modern means of taking evidence such as videoconferencing if a person needs to be heard from another Member State and incentives (via the financing of national projects) for Member States to equip courts with videoconferencing facilities; 
    • removing legal barriers to the acceptance of electronic (digital) evidence;
    • tackling divergent interpretations of the term ‘court’;
    • raising courts’ and legal professionals’ awareness of the availability of the direct channel of taking evidence under the Regulation.

    CONTENT: the proposal aims to improve the efficiency and speed of obtaining cross-border evidence. To this end, it adapts Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 to technical developments, exploiting the advantages of digitisation and ensuring greater use of videoconferencing.

    In concrete terms, the proposed amendments:         

    • define the term ‘court’ to mean any judicial authority in a Member State which is competent for the performance of taking of evidence according to this Regulation;
    • introduce the mandatory electronic transmission, as a rule, of requests and communications. In exceptional cases, i.e. where the system is interrupted or not suitable for the transmission in question (e.g. transmission of a DNA sample as evidence), other channels can still be used;
    • ensure a more appropriate, more frequent and faster use of direct taking of evidence via videoconference, where available to the courts in question and appropriate in the light of the specific circumstances of the case;
    • facilitate the taking of evidence by diplomatic officers or consular agents. The Article provides that such persons may, in the territory of another Member State and in the area where they exercise their functions, take evidence without the need for a prior request, by hearing nationals of the Member State which they represent without compulsion in the context of proceedings pending in the courts of that Member State;
    • ensure that digital evidence taken in accordance with the law of the Member State where it was taken is not rejected as evidence in other Member States solely due to its digital nature.

    BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS: the proposal will not impose significant costs on national administrations, but rather lead to savings. Costs relating to the development, implementation and maintenance of electronic communication and document exchanges, and to the acquisition, implementation and operation of professional, high-end videoconferencing equipment could be co-funded.

    The main EU funding opportunities under the current financial programmes are the Justice programme and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) package for the digital transformation priority, as unveiled on 2 May 2018, includes EUR 3 billion for a digital strand of the CEF, to finance digital connectivity infrastructure.

activities/1
date
2018-09-10T00:00:00
body
EP
type
Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
committees
body: EP shadows: group: S&D name: COFFERATI Sergio Gaetano responsible: True committee_full: Legal Affairs committee: JURI
committees/0/shadows
  • group: S&D name: COFFERATI Sergio Gaetano
procedure/Mandatory consultation of other institutions
European Economic and Social Committee
procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
JURI/8/13538
procedure/stage_reached
Old
Preparatory phase in Parliament
New
Awaiting committee decision
activities
  • date: 2018-05-31T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2018/0378/COM_COM(2018)0378_EN.pdf celexid: CELEX:52018PC0378:EN type: Legislative proposal published title: COM(2018)0378 type: Legislative proposal published body: EC commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/justice-and-consumers_en title: Justice and Consumers Commissioner: TIMMERMANS Frans
committees
  • body: EP responsible: True committee_full: Legal Affairs committee: JURI
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/justice-and-consumers_en title: Justice and Consumers commissioner: TIMMERMANS Frans
procedure
reference
2018/0203(COD)
instrument
Regulation
legal_basis
Treaty on the Functioning of the EU TFEU 081-p3-a1
stage_reached
Preparatory phase in Parliament
summary
Amending Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001
subtype
Legislation
title
Cooperation between the courts: taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters
type
COD - Ordinary legislative procedure (ex-codecision procedure)
subject
7.40.02 Judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters