BETA


2018/0204(COD) Service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents)

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

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead JURI COFFERATI Sergio Gaetano (icon: S&D S&D) RADEV Emil (icon: PPE PPE), DZHAMBAZKI Angel (icon: ECR ECR), CAVADA Jean-Marie (icon: ALDE ALDE), CHRYSOGONOS Kostas (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
TFEU 081-p2

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 563 votes to 27, with 9 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents).

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

Objective of the Regulation

Parliament specified that the Regulation shall improve the effectiveness and speed of judicial procedures by simplifying and streamlining procedures for the notification or communication of judicial and extrajudicial documents at Union level, while at the same time helping to reduce delays and costs for individuals and businesses and encourage individuals and businesses to engage in cross-border transactions.

The fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons concerned, in particular the right to the protection of personal data and privacy, shall be fully observed and respected.

Exchange of documents by electronic means

Members considered that the Regulation shall improve and speed up the exchange and service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil and commercial matters between Member States, while ensuring a high level of security and protection of the transmission of such documents, preserving the procedural rights of the recipient and protecting privacy and personal data.

The transmission of documents, requests, confirmations, receipts, certificates and any other communication between the transmitting agencies and receiving agencies, between those agencies and the central bodies, or between the central bodies of the different Member States shall be carried out through a decentralised IT system composed of national IT systems interconnected by a communication infrastructure enabling the secure reliable and in real time cross-border exchange of information between the national IT systems.

The decentralised IT system to be established pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 should be based on the eCODEX system and should 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 (eCODEX).

The operating procedures of the decentralised computer system shall be defined by means of delegated acts. Any processing of personal data of natural persons under the Regulation shall be undertaken in accordance with the general Regulation on data protection (Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Directive 2002/58/EC).

Electronic signatures

Where documents require a seal or handwritten signature, the amended text provides for the possibility of using instead the appropriate ‘qualified electronic seals’ and ‘qualified electronic signatures’ as defined in Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council may be used instead, provided that it is fully ensured that the person on whom the aforementioned documents are served has obtained knowledge of the documents in sufficient time and in a lawful manner.

Protection of the defendant's interests

In order to preserve the defendant's rights, Members considered it necessary to ensure that the addressee explicitly accepts the method of service by electronic means. Where documents are served or transmitted electronically, the possibility should be available to provide an acknowledgement of receipt of such documents.

Where the defendant has not appeared and no certificate of service or delivery has been received, the judge shall still be able to give judgement, subject to certain limitations and provided that various requirements for the safeguard of the interests of the defendant have been complied with. In those cases, it is essential to ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to inform the defendant that court proceedings have been initiated against her or him. For that purpose, the court shall send alert messages through all available known channels of communication which are likely to be accessible in a manner that is exclusive to the addressee, including, for example, by means of that person’s telephone number, e-mail address or private social media account.

Parties domiciled in another Member State

Where a document instituting the proceedings has already been served upon the defendant and the defendant has not refused to accept such document, the law of the forum Member State shall offer parties who are domiciled in another Member State the possibility of appointing a representative for the purpose of service of documents on them in the forum Member State, provided that the party concerned has been duly informed about the consequences of that choice and has explicitly accepted such option.

Time limits

Members proposed inserting certain deadlines to ensure that the transmission of documents and communications between transmitting agencies, receiving agencies and central agencies is carried out effectively. However, these deadlines shall not apply when the transmission is made by alternative means due to an unforeseen and exceptional disruption of the decentralised IT system.

Documents
2019/01/08
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The Committee on Legal Affairs adopted the report by Sergio Gaetano COFFERATI (S&D, IT) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents).

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

Objective of the Regulation

Members specified that the Regulation shall improve the effectiveness and speed of judicial procedures by simplifying and streamlining procedures for the notification or communication of judicial and extrajudicial documents at Union level, while at the same time helping to reduce delays and costs for individuals and businesses and encourage individuals and businesses to engage in cross-border transactions.

Exchange of documents by electronic means

Members considered that the Regulation shall improve and speed up the exchange and service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil and commercial matters between Member States, while ensuring a high level of security and protection of the transmission of such documents, preserving the procedural rights of the recipient and protecting privacy and personal data.

The decentralised IT system to be established pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 should be based on the eCODEX system and should 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 (eCODEX).

The operating procedures of the decentralised computer system shall be defined by means of delegated acts. Any processing of personal data of natural persons under the Regulation shall be undertaken in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Directive 2002/58/EC.

Protection of the defendant's interests

In order to preserve the defendant's rights, Members considered it necessary to ensure that the addressee explicitly accepts the method of service by electronic means. Where documents are served or transmitted electronically, the possibility should be available to provide an acknowledgement of receipt of such documents.

Where the defendant has not appeared and no certificate of service or delivery has been received, the judge shall still be able to give judgement, subject to certain limitations and provided that various requirements for the safeguard of the interests of the defendant have been complied with. In those cases, it is essential to ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to inform the defendant that court proceedings have been initiated against her or him. For that purpose, the court shall send alert messages through all available known channels of communication which are likely to be accessible in a manner that is exclusive to the addressee, including, for example, by means of that person’s telephone number, e-mail address or private social media account.

Parties domiciled in another Member State

Where a document instituting the proceedings has already been served upon the defendant and the defendant has not refused to accept such document, the law of the forum Member State shall offer parties who are domiciled in another Member State the possibility of appointing a representative for the purpose of service of documents on them in the forum Member State, provided that the party concerned has been duly informed about the consequences of that choice and has explicitly accepted such option.

Time limits

Members proposed inserting certain deadlines to ensure that the transmission of documents and communications between transmitting agencies, receiving agencies and central agencies is carried out effectively. However, these deadlines shall not apply when the transmission is made by alternative means due to an unforeseen and exceptional disruption of the decentralised IT system.

Documents
2018/12/10
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2018/11/09
   RO_SENATE - Contribution
Documents
2018/10/31
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2018/10/30
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2018/10/19
   PT_PARLIAMENT - Contribution
Documents
2018/10/17
   ESC - Economic and Social Committee: opinion, report
Documents
2018/10/01
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2018/09/25
   DE_BUNDESRAT - Contribution
Documents
2018/09/24
   EP - COFFERATI Sergio Gaetano (S&D) 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 and expedite the transmission and service between the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil and commercial matters.

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: since 2008, Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 on the service of documents provides for fast-track channels and uniform procedures for transmitting documents from one Member State to another. Together with Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 on cooperation in the taking of evidence, it is a crucial instrument 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 most of these cases (namely in those where at least one party resides in another Member State than the one where the proceedings takes place), courts often apply the Regulation on service of documents several times in the course of the proceedings. This is because additional documents often have to be served formally (such as the decisions closing the proceedings), in addition to the document instituting the proceedings.

In 2017, to support the analysis of the practical application of the Regulation, the Commission undertook a regulatory fitness (REFIT) evaluation,

On the traditional channel of transmission of a document to another Member State for purposes of service there - transmission through the so-called transmitting and receiving agencies - the evaluation revealed that this workflow is underperforming in that it still works more slowly and less efficiently than expected.

The deadlines proposed in the Regulation are regularly exceeded and modern channels of communication are in practice not used.

The evaluation also concluded that as regards the alternative methods of transmission and service of documents providing direct channels to serve documents in the territory of other Member States, the evaluation concluded that although they provide smoother solutions to assist cross-border judicial proceedings, there are ways in which they could be improved : service by post under the Regulation is a popular, quick and relatively cheap way of delivering the document to the addressee, but it is not very reliable and has a high failure rate. The so-called direct service provides a reliable solution but access to it is limited.

This proposal is closely linked to the proposal amending the Regulation on the taking of evidence. The two proposals are presented together by the Commission, and constitute a package for the modernisation of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters.

IMPACT ASSESSMENT: as part of the preferred package, the effectiveness of the current regulation would be improved, mainly by reducing costs and delays. In particular, the impact assessment identified two changes that should be useful: mandatory electronic communication between the agencies and the facilitation of electronic and direct service.

CONTENT: the proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 sets up a framework of judicial cooperation aligned with the digital single market strategy. It will help improve the speed and efficiency of cross-border proceedings by reducing the time spent on sending documents between agencies and by reducing reliance on paper-based communication.

Specifically, the proposal:

provides that the communication and exchange of documents between sending and receiving authorities is carried electronically , through a decentralised IT system made up of national IT systems interconnected by a secure and reliable communication infrastructure; ensures that alternative (traditional) means of communication are used in cases of unforeseen and exceptional disruption of the IT system; requires Member States to provide assistance in locating the whereabouts of a recipient in another Member State if the initiator of the service of the document either does not have any such information (‘whereabouts unknown’) or if the information at his/her disposal turns out to be incorrect; improves the procedure on the right of the addressee to refuse to accept the document if it is not drawn up or translated into an appropriate language; obliges the postal service providers to use a specific return slip (acknowledgement of receipt) when serving documents by post under the Regulation; introduces a minimum standard concerning persons to be regarded as eligible ‘ substituting recipients ’ if the postal service provider cannot hand over the document on the addressee in person; introduces a new measure to facilitate access to the direct service of documents , by extending the scope of application of the Regulation. Allowing direct service both for (i) transmitting agencies or (ii) the courts seised with the proceedings in the Member State of origin and in the territory of all Member States would lead to more direct and speedy transmission of documents compared to the baseline; introduces the electronic service of documents as an additional alternative method of service under the Regulation; requires the court seised with the proceedings to send an alert message about the initiation of the proceedings or about the default judgment to the available user account of the defendant in absentia and sets the time period for the availability of the extraordinary review to two years as of the issuance of the default judgment.

BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS: the proposal will not impose significant costs on national administrations, but rather lead to savings . The main costs for Member States will come from the implementation of electronic communication as mandatory for transmitting and receiving agencies.

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

Votes

A8-0001/2019 - Sergio Gaetano Cofferati - Vote unique 13/02/2019 17:05:42.000

2019/02/13 Outcome: +: 563, -: 27, 0: 9
DE FR IT PL ES RO GB AT CZ PT BG BE HU NL SE FI DK SK HR EL LT IE SI LU LV MT EE CY ??
Total
75
64
55
46
42
24
55
18
19
18
14
18
13
24
12
11
12
11
10
13
8
8
7
6
6
5
3
1
1
icon: PPE PPE
173

United Kingdom PPE

2

Belgium PPE

3

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg PPE

3

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1
icon: S&D S&D
149

Czechia S&D

3

Bulgaria S&D

2

Hungary S&D

2

Netherlands S&D

3

Finland S&D

1

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

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Portugal ALDE

1

Sweden ALDE

2

Denmark ALDE

2

Croatia 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
58

Romania ECR

For (1)

1

Czechia ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

1

Belgium ECR

For (1)

3

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

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Hungary Verts/ALE

2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Croatia 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
40

Italy GUE/NGL

2

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Portugal GUE/NGL

For (1)

4

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

2

Cyprus GUE/NGL

1
icon: ENF ENF
32
2

United Kingdom ENF

2

Belgium ENF

For (1)

1

Netherlands ENF

3
icon: NI NI
14

Germany NI

For (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
71 2018/0204(COD)
2018/10/30 JURI 1 amendments...
source: 629.639
2018/10/31 JURI 70 amendments...
source: 629.638

History

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

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  • date: 2018-05-31T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2018/0379/COM_COM(2018)0379_EN.pdf title: COM(2018)0379 type: Legislative proposal published celexid: CELEX:52018PC0379:EN body: EC commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/justice-and-consumers_en title: Justice and Consumers Commissioner: JOUROVÁ Věra 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 responsible: True committee: JURI date: 2018-08-21T00:00:00 committee_full: Legal Affairs rapporteur: group: S&D name: COFFERATI Sergio Gaetano
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docs
  • date: 2018-05-31T00:00:00 docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=SWD:2018:0286:FIN:EN:PDF title: EUR-Lex title: SWD(2018)0286 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:2018:0287:FIN:EN:PDF title: EUR-Lex title: SWD(2018)0287 type: Document attached to the procedure body: EC
  • date: 2018-10-01T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE628.483 title: PE628.483 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=PE629.638 title: PE629.638 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2018-10-31T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE629.639 title: PE629.639 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2019-04-16T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=32016&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)0379 title: COM(2018)0379 type: Contribution body: DE_BUNDESRAT
  • date: 2018-10-19T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2018)0379 title: COM(2018)0379 type: Contribution body: PT_PARLIAMENT
  • date: 2018-11-09T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2018)0379 title: COM(2018)0379 type: Contribution body: RO_SENATE
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/2018/0379/COM_COM(2018)0379_EN.pdf title: COM(2018)0379 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2018&nu_doc=0379 title: EUR-Lex summary: PURPOSE: to improve and expedite the transmission and service between the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil and commercial matters. 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: since 2008, Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 on the service of documents provides for fast-track channels and uniform procedures for transmitting documents from one Member State to another. Together with Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 on cooperation in the taking of evidence, it is a crucial instrument 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 most of these cases (namely in those where at least one party resides in another Member State than the one where the proceedings takes place), courts often apply the Regulation on service of documents several times in the course of the proceedings. This is because additional documents often have to be served formally (such as the decisions closing the proceedings), in addition to the document instituting the proceedings. In 2017, to support the analysis of the practical application of the Regulation, the Commission undertook a regulatory fitness (REFIT) evaluation, On the traditional channel of transmission of a document to another Member State for purposes of service there - transmission through the so-called transmitting and receiving agencies - the evaluation revealed that this workflow is underperforming in that it still works more slowly and less efficiently than expected. The deadlines proposed in the Regulation are regularly exceeded and modern channels of communication are in practice not used. The evaluation also concluded that as regards the alternative methods of transmission and service of documents providing direct channels to serve documents in the territory of other Member States, the evaluation concluded that although they provide smoother solutions to assist cross-border judicial proceedings, there are ways in which they could be improved : service by post under the Regulation is a popular, quick and relatively cheap way of delivering the document to the addressee, but it is not very reliable and has a high failure rate. The so-called direct service provides a reliable solution but access to it is limited. This proposal is closely linked to the proposal amending the Regulation on the taking of evidence. The two proposals are presented together by the Commission, and constitute a package for the modernisation of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters. IMPACT ASSESSMENT: as part of the preferred package, the effectiveness of the current regulation would be improved, mainly by reducing costs and delays. In particular, the impact assessment identified two changes that should be useful: mandatory electronic communication between the agencies and the facilitation of electronic and direct service. CONTENT: the proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 sets up a framework of judicial cooperation aligned with the digital single market strategy. It will help improve the speed and efficiency of cross-border proceedings by reducing the time spent on sending documents between agencies and by reducing reliance on paper-based communication. Specifically, the proposal: provides that the communication and exchange of documents between sending and receiving authorities is carried electronically , through a decentralised IT system made up of national IT systems interconnected by a secure and reliable communication infrastructure; ensures that alternative (traditional) means of communication are used in cases of unforeseen and exceptional disruption of the IT system; requires Member States to provide assistance in locating the whereabouts of a recipient in another Member State if the initiator of the service of the document either does not have any such information (‘whereabouts unknown’) or if the information at his/her disposal turns out to be incorrect; improves the procedure on the right of the addressee to refuse to accept the document if it is not drawn up or translated into an appropriate language; obliges the postal service providers to use a specific return slip (acknowledgement of receipt) when serving documents by post under the Regulation; introduces a minimum standard concerning persons to be regarded as eligible ‘ substituting recipients ’ if the postal service provider cannot hand over the document on the addressee in person; introduces a new measure to facilitate access to the direct service of documents , by extending the scope of application of the Regulation. Allowing direct service both for (i) transmitting agencies or (ii) the courts seised with the proceedings in the Member State of origin and in the territory of all Member States would lead to more direct and speedy transmission of documents compared to the baseline; introduces the electronic service of documents as an additional alternative method of service under the Regulation; requires the court seised with the proceedings to send an alert message about the initiation of the proceedings or about the default judgment to the available user account of the defendant in absentia and sets the time period for the availability of the extraordinary review to two years as of the issuance of the default judgment. BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS: the proposal will not impose significant costs on national administrations, but rather lead to savings . The main costs for Member States will come from the implementation of electronic communication as mandatory for transmitting and receiving agencies. 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: 2019-01-08T00:00:00 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=A8-2019-0001&language=EN title: A8-0001/2019 summary: The Committee on Legal Affairs adopted the report by Sergio Gaetano COFFERATI (S&D, IT) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents). The committee recommended that the European Parliament's position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission's proposal as follows. Objective of the Regulation Members specified that the Regulation shall improve the effectiveness and speed of judicial procedures by simplifying and streamlining procedures for the notification or communication of judicial and extrajudicial documents at Union level, while at the same time helping to reduce delays and costs for individuals and businesses and encourage individuals and businesses to engage in cross-border transactions. Exchange of documents by electronic means Members considered that the Regulation shall improve and speed up the exchange and service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil and commercial matters between Member States, while ensuring a high level of security and protection of the transmission of such documents, preserving the procedural rights of the recipient and protecting privacy and personal data. The decentralised IT system to be established pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 should be based on the eCODEX system and should 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 (eCODEX). The operating procedures of the decentralised computer system shall be defined by means of delegated acts. Any processing of personal data of natural persons under the Regulation shall be undertaken in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Directive 2002/58/EC. Protection of the defendant's interests In order to preserve the defendant's rights, Members considered it necessary to ensure that the addressee explicitly accepts the method of service by electronic means. Where documents are served or transmitted electronically, the possibility should be available to provide an acknowledgement of receipt of such documents. Where the defendant has not appeared and no certificate of service or delivery has been received, the judge shall still be able to give judgement, subject to certain limitations and provided that various requirements for the safeguard of the interests of the defendant have been complied with. In those cases, it is essential to ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to inform the defendant that court proceedings have been initiated against her or him. For that purpose, the court shall send alert messages through all available known channels of communication which are likely to be accessible in a manner that is exclusive to the addressee, including, for example, by means of that person’s telephone number, e-mail address or private social media account. Parties domiciled in another Member State Where a document instituting the proceedings has already been served upon the defendant and the defendant has not refused to accept such document, the law of the forum Member State shall offer parties who are domiciled in another Member State the possibility of appointing a representative for the purpose of service of documents on them in the forum Member State, provided that the party concerned has been duly informed about the consequences of that choice and has explicitly accepted such option. Time limits Members proposed inserting certain deadlines to ensure that the transmission of documents and communications between transmitting agencies, receiving agencies and central agencies is carried out effectively. However, these deadlines shall not apply when the transmission is made by alternative means due to an unforeseen and exceptional disruption of the decentralised IT system.
  • 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=32016&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-2019-0104 title: T8-0104/2019 summary: The European Parliament adopted by 563 votes to 27, with 9 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents). The European Parliament's position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure amended the Commission's proposal as follows. Objective of the Regulation Parliament specified that the Regulation shall improve the effectiveness and speed of judicial procedures by simplifying and streamlining procedures for the notification or communication of judicial and extrajudicial documents at Union level, while at the same time helping to reduce delays and costs for individuals and businesses and encourage individuals and businesses to engage in cross-border transactions. The fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons concerned, in particular the right to the protection of personal data and privacy, shall be fully observed and respected. Exchange of documents by electronic means Members considered that the Regulation shall improve and speed up the exchange and service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil and commercial matters between Member States, while ensuring a high level of security and protection of the transmission of such documents, preserving the procedural rights of the recipient and protecting privacy and personal data. The transmission of documents, requests, confirmations, receipts, certificates and any other communication between the transmitting agencies and receiving agencies, between those agencies and the central bodies, or between the central bodies of the different Member States shall be carried out through a decentralised IT system composed of national IT systems interconnected by a communication infrastructure enabling the secure reliable and in real time cross-border exchange of information between the national IT systems. The decentralised IT system to be established pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 should be based on the eCODEX system and should 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 (eCODEX). The operating procedures of the decentralised computer system shall be defined by means of delegated acts. Any processing of personal data of natural persons under the Regulation shall be undertaken in accordance with the general Regulation on data protection (Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Directive 2002/58/EC). Electronic signatures Where documents require a seal or handwritten signature, the amended text provides for the possibility of using instead the appropriate ‘qualified electronic seals’ and ‘qualified electronic signatures’ as defined in Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council may be used instead, provided that it is fully ensured that the person on whom the aforementioned documents are served has obtained knowledge of the documents in sufficient time and in a lawful manner. Protection of the defendant's interests In order to preserve the defendant's rights, Members considered it necessary to ensure that the addressee explicitly accepts the method of service by electronic means. Where documents are served or transmitted electronically, the possibility should be available to provide an acknowledgement of receipt of such documents. Where the defendant has not appeared and no certificate of service or delivery has been received, the judge shall still be able to give judgement, subject to certain limitations and provided that various requirements for the safeguard of the interests of the defendant have been complied with. In those cases, it is essential to ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to inform the defendant that court proceedings have been initiated against her or him. For that purpose, the court shall send alert messages through all available known channels of communication which are likely to be accessible in a manner that is exclusive to the addressee, including, for example, by means of that person’s telephone number, e-mail address or private social media account. Parties domiciled in another Member State Where a document instituting the proceedings has already been served upon the defendant and the defendant has not refused to accept such document, the law of the forum Member State shall offer parties who are domiciled in another Member State the possibility of appointing a representative for the purpose of service of documents on them in the forum Member State, provided that the party concerned has been duly informed about the consequences of that choice and has explicitly accepted such option. Time limits Members proposed inserting certain deadlines to ensure that the transmission of documents and communications between transmitting agencies, receiving agencies and central agencies is carried out effectively. However, these deadlines shall not apply when the transmission is made by alternative means due to an unforeseen and exceptional disruption of the decentralised IT system.
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/justice-and-consumers_en title: Justice and Consumers commissioner: JOUROVÁ Věra
otherinst
  • name: European Economic and Social Committee
  • name: European Committee of the Regions
procedure/Mandatory consultation of other institutions
European Economic and Social Committee European Committee of the Regions
procedure/Modified legal basis
Rules of Procedure EP 159
procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
Old
JURI/8/13426
New
  • JURI/8/13426
procedure/instrument
Old
Regulation
New
  • Regulation
  • Amending Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 2005/0126(COD)
procedure/other_consulted_institutions
European Economic and Social Committee European Committee of the Regions
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 1393/2007
activities/0/docs/0/text
  • PURPOSE: to improve and expedite the transmission and service between the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil and commercial matters.

    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: since 2008, Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 on the service of documents provides for fast-track channels and uniform procedures for transmitting documents from one Member State to another. Together with Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 on cooperation in the taking of evidence, it is a crucial instrument 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 most of these cases (namely in those where at least one party resides in another Member State than the one where the proceedings takes place), courts often apply the Regulation on service of documents several times in the course of the proceedings. This is because additional documents often have to be served formally (such as the decisions closing the proceedings), in addition to the document instituting the proceedings.

    In 2017, to support the analysis of the practical application of the Regulation, the Commission undertook a regulatory fitness (REFIT) evaluation,

    On the traditional channel of transmission of a document to another Member State for purposes of service there - transmission through the so-called transmitting and receiving agencies - the evaluation revealed that this workflow is underperforming in that it still works more slowly and less efficiently than expected.

    The deadlines proposed in the Regulation are regularly exceeded and modern channels of communication are in practice not used.

    The evaluation also concluded that as regards the alternative methods of transmission and service of documents providing direct channels to serve documents in the territory of other Member States, the evaluation concluded that although they provide smoother solutions to assist cross-border judicial proceedings, there are ways in which they could be improved : service by post under the Regulation is a popular, quick and relatively cheap way of delivering the document to the addressee, but it is not very reliable and has a high failure rate. The so-called direct service provides a reliable solution but access to it is limited.

    This proposal is closely linked to the proposal amending the Regulation on the taking of evidence. The two proposals are presented together by the Commission, and constitute a package for the modernisation of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters.

    IMPACT ASSESSMENT: as part of the preferred package, the effectiveness of the current regulation would be improved, mainly by reducing costs and delays. In particular, the impact assessment identified two changes that should be useful: mandatory electronic communication between the agencies and the facilitation of electronic and direct service.

    CONTENT: the proposal to amend Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 sets up a framework of judicial cooperation aligned with the digital single market strategy. It will help improve the speed and efficiency of cross-border proceedings by reducing the time spent on sending documents between agencies and by reducing reliance on paper-based communication.

    Specifically, the proposal:

    • provides that the communication and exchange of documents between sending and receiving authorities is carried electronically, through a decentralised IT system made up of national IT systems interconnected by a secure and reliable communication infrastructure;
    • ensures that alternative (traditional) means of communication are used in cases of unforeseen and exceptional disruption of the IT system;
    • requires Member States to provide assistance in locating the whereabouts of a recipient in another Member State if the initiator of the service of the document either does not have any such information (‘whereabouts unknown’) or if the information at his/her disposal turns out to be incorrect;
    • improves the procedure on the right of the addressee to refuse to accept the document if it is not drawn up or translated into an appropriate language;
    • obliges the postal service providers to use a specific return slip (acknowledgement of receipt) when serving documents by post under the Regulation;
    • introduces a minimum standard concerning persons to be regarded as eligible ‘substituting recipients’ if the postal service provider cannot hand over the document on the addressee in person;
    • introduces a new measure to facilitate access to the direct service of documents, by extending the scope of application of the Regulation. Allowing direct service both for (i) transmitting agencies or (ii) the courts seised with the proceedings in the Member State of origin and in the territory of all Member States would lead to more direct and speedy transmission of documents compared to the baseline;
    • introduces the electronic service of documents as an additional alternative method of service under the Regulation;
    • requires the court seised with the proceedings to send an alert message about the initiation of the proceedings or about the default judgment to the available user account of the defendant in absentia and sets the time period for the availability of the extraordinary review to two years as of the issuance of the default judgment.

    BUDGETARY IMPLICATIONS: the proposal will not impose significant costs on national administrations, but rather lead to savings. The main costs for Member States will come from the implementation of electronic communication as mandatory for transmitting and receiving agencies.

    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 responsible: True committee: JURI date: 2018-08-21T00:00:00 committee_full: Legal Affairs rapporteur: group: S&D name: COFFERATI Sergio Gaetano
committees/0/date
2018-08-21T00:00:00
committees/0/rapporteur
  • group: S&D name: COFFERATI Sergio Gaetano
procedure/Mandatory consultation of other institutions
European Economic and Social Committee European Committee of the Regions
procedure/dossier_of_the_committee
JURI/8/13426
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/2018/0379/COM_COM(2018)0379_EN.pdf celexid: CELEX:52018PC0379:EN type: Legislative proposal published title: COM(2018)0379 type: Legislative proposal published body: EC commission: DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/justice-and-consumers_en title: Justice and Consumers Commissioner: JOUROVÁ Věra
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: JOUROVÁ Věra
procedure
reference
2018/0204(COD)
instrument
Regulation
legal_basis
Treaty on the Functioning of the EU TFEU 081-p2
stage_reached
Preparatory phase in Parliament
summary
Amending Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007
subtype
Legislation
title
Service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents)
type
COD - Ordinary legislative procedure (ex-codecision procedure)
subject
7.40.02 Judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters