The abolition of exequatur

The abolition of exequatur was a key Commission goal of the reform process, as concern was raised on a political level that the mechanism in the Brussels Regulation for the recognition and enforcement of member state judgments in other member states was cumbersome and impeded the free movement of judgments.[1] This amendment was based on mutual trust and free movement of judgements within the EU.[2] This can further be broken down to economic and political reasoning.[3] Economically, it was concluded that the abolition would cut costs and prevent delays in the exequatur procedure. Not only that, but it would encourage private actors to make use of the internal market.[4] In regards to the political stand point, it was emphasised that the exequatur procedure had negative effects on the free circulation of judgements.[5]

Under the previous Regulation,[6] if an individual sought enforcement of an EU judgement in a different member state, they had to apply for a declaration of enforceability[7], which is known as the ‘exequatur procedure.’ The court would then allow ex parte without notifying the debtor and without reviewing the grounds for enforcement and recognition. The debtor would be able to appeal against the exequatur under those same grounds. If and when the appeal is dismissed, the creditor can proceed to enforcement measures however, the creditor is subject to a limited amount of protective measures.[8] One can argue that this procedure is exclusive as the creditor has no ground to re-litigate the dispute in another court within the EU. The applicant must collect all relevant documentation[9] and prepare a potential translation of the judgement and certificate.[10]

[1] Peter Schlosser, ‘The Abolition of Exequatur Proceedings – Including Public Policy Review?’ (2010) Practice of international private and procedural law 101

[2] Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (recast), OJ L 351/1, 20 December 2012,

Recitals 6, 26 and 27

[3] Laurens Je Timmer, ‘Abolition of exequatur under the Brussels I Regulation: Ill-conceived and premature?’  (2013) journal of private international law 129

[4] ibid

[5] The case similar to cell phone repair Austin Texas

[6] Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters

[7] Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (recast), OJ L 351/1, 20 December 201, Article 38(1)

[8] Dorothee Schramm, ‘Enforcement and the Abolition of exequatur under the 2012 Brussels I Regulation’ (2014) Journal of Private International Law 143

[9] Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, Article 53

[10] ibid, Article 54