About this consultation

Consultation period
8 December 2017 - 2 March 2018
Justice and fundamental rights

Consultation outcome

Received contributions will be published on the Internet. See the privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

The results of the public consultation will be taken into consideration in the context of the revision by the Commission of Regulation (EC) 1393/2007 on service of documents and of Regulation (EC) 1206/2001 on taking of evidence , including the preparation of eventual proposals of the Commission to be submitted to the European Parliament and Council. 

Target group

We welcome responses from all individuals and organisations with views on the judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, including legal professionals, international or inter-governmental organisations, public authorities, representative associations at EU and national level, researchers, consultancies, NGO's, citizens and businesses.

Objective of the consultation

The objective of this public consultation is to collect stakeholders' views in relation to the practical operation of the current legal framework of cross-border judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, with particular focus on the service of documents and taking of evidence. The consultation should help identify possible problems in connection with the operation of the cooperation mechanisms set by the two Regulations and of their relevance in terms of the establishment of a European area of justice. The consultation will also collect views on possible solutions to the problems identified.

Consequently, this public consultation will ultimately inform the evaluation and impact assessment prepared by the Commission, which will be used to assess whether or not to make proposals revising the existing framework of cross-border judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters. Any proposal revising the two Regulations would need to be discussed and adopted by the European Parliament and Council.

Policy context of the consultation

The EU has the task to develop the European area of justice in civil matters based on principle of mutual trust and mutual recognition of judgements. The area of justice requires judicial cooperation across borders. For this purpose, and for the proper functioning of the internal market, the EU has adopted legislation on cross-border service of judicial documents and on cooperation in taking of evidence. These are crucial instruments to regulate judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters between the Member States. Their common purpose is to provide an efficient framework for cross-border judicial cooperation.

Although the legislation on judicial cooperation appear to address technical procedural matters, its impact on the everyday lives of EU citizens is substantial. It is applied in each and every judicial proceeding having cross-border implications; its proper functioning in these concrete cases is indispensable for ensuring access to justice and a fair trial for the parties to the proceedings.

The EU Justice Agenda for 2020 stressed that, in order to enhance mutual trust between the justice systems of the Member States of the EU, the need to reinforce civil procedural rights should be examined, for example as regards the service of documents or the taking of evidence. The aim to improve the framework of judicial cooperation within the EU is also in line with the objectives of the Commission set by the Digital Single Market Strategy. In line with this, the Commission has committed in its work programme for 2018 to bring forward proposals revising both the Regulation on service of documents and the Regulation on taking of evidence.

How to submit your response

This consultation questionnaire can be filled in online through the following link:  "Respond to the consultation"

The questionnaire is available in all EU official languages with the exception of Irish. Replies are welcome in any official language of the European Union, including Irish.

It is not compulsory to answer all questions. Even if you are not an expert, please feel free to answer as many questions as you consider appropriate. In addition to the multiple choice questions and explaining your views in the free text boxes, you may also provide additional information in a separate document at the end of the questionnaire.

In any case, please note that we cannot guarantee to be able to take account of replies received after the deadline 2 March 2018.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet. If the contributor objects to the publication of his/her personal information, the contribution will be published in anonymous form. If a document is uploaded to the contribution, this will be published unaltered together with the response. See the privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

In the interest of transparency, the Commission asks organisations that wish to submit comments in the context of public consultations to provide the Commission and the public at large with information about whom and what they represent by registering in the Transparency Register and subscribing to its Code of Conduct. If an organisation decides not to provide this information, it is the Commission's stated policy to list the contribution as part of the individual contributions (Consultation Standards, see COM (2002) 704, and Communication on ETI Follow-up, see COM (2007) 127 of 21/03/2007).

If you are a registered organisation, please indicate your Register ID number in the Transparency Register when replying to the online questionnaire. Your contribution will then be considered as representative of the views of your organisation.

If your organisation is not registered, you have the opportunity to REGISTER NOW. Then you can return to this page and submit your contribution as a registered organisation.

View the questionnaire

The questionnaire is available via "Respond to the consultation"

Before responding, please ensure you have read the specific Privacy Statement below.

Reference documents

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Additional information

Please always indicate the following subject line in any correspondence via the contact details below.