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Consumers (15-06-2007)

Council of Ministers adopts common position on Regulation for European Small Claims Procedure

The Council adopted on June 13 a common position for a Regulation establishing a European Small Claims Procedure. The Regulation simplifies, speeds up and reduces the costs of litigation concerning small claims by putting in place the European Small Claims Procedure, offering citizens an alternative to current law procedures of EU Member States. The procedure will apply in civil and commercial matters where the claim does not exceed € 2,000.00 both in pecuniary and non-pecuniary cases. The common position preserves the essential features of the Commission proposal of 15 March 2005 but introduces procedural simplifications such as standard forms used by the parties and establishes time limits to speed up litigation concerning small claims. Furthermore, the parties will not require legal assistance to represent them and evidence via written statements of witnesses will be accepted. The judgment will be enforceable regardless of possible appeals.  Lastly, the judgment shall be recognized and enforced in another Member State automatically and without any possibility of opposing validity. The new procedure will apply from 1 January 2009.
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