Over the last years, the European Council has been taken various steps towards the mutual recognition, through Member States, of civil and commercial decisions: Reg. EU 805/2004 (creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims), Reg. EU 1896/2006 (creating a European order for payment procedure) and Reg. EU 1215/2012 (on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters).
All such Regulations provide for the abolition of “exequatur”, that is to say, that a decision taken and enforceable in a Member State is automatically recognized and enforceable in another EU Member State. However, each Regulation has a different scope.
Reg. EU 805/2004 applies to uncontested claims, such as those which, by way of example, have been acknowledged by the debtor; have been settled and the settlement has been approved by a Court; have not been objected within the dead-line provided for by the law of the Member State of origin (i.e. ex-parte payment injunction – decreto ingiuntivo – not appealed against within the given dead-line); have been tacitly acknowledged by the debtor avoiding to cultivate the proceedings in which the claims were in the first instance contested.
Reg. EU 805/2004 does not require for the uncontested claims to arise from cross-border-cases, it falling under its scope of work also such uncontested claims between parties resident in the same Member State.
Such claims, whenever enforceable in the Member State of origin, shall be enforceable throughout all the other Member States, subject only to the Member State of origin issuing the European Enforcement Order Certificate (Annex I of the Regulation).
Differently, Reg. EU 1896/2006 sets the legal framework to obtain an European Order of Payment, which may be triggered as an alternative to the order of payment’s procedures set forth under the procedural laws of each of the single Member States.
Reg. EU 1896/2006 applies only to cross-border-cases (i.e. those claims between parties resident in different Member States) and lays down minimum standards to obtain an order of payment which may circulate throughout the Member States and be enforced without the need of any proceedings of recognition. However, the debtor may, after having been served upon the European injunction order, file an opposition against it.
Finally, Regulation EU 1215/2012, which recasts REG. 44/2001 by providing the abolition of any kind of exequatur, applies to cross-border-decisions rendered in a Member State. Such decisions, whenever enforceable in the Member State of origin, are enforceable in the other Member States, without the need of any decision to be taken by the Member State in which the enforcement is sought. In this respect, see article by Davide Rossetti published on our blog.
Eventually, although all the above Regulations provide for the exequator’s abolition, there are still different requirements and stages for the immediate enforceability of a decision rendered in a EU Member State which shall be duly taken into account when deciding which Regulation is the best available option.