New EU rules came into force on 10th January that are designed to help businesses and consumers resolve cross-border legal disputes more easily and save an expected €48 million each year across the EU.
The new rules abolish the previous procedure, which could be costly and lengthy but was apparently still used around 10,000 times a year to get judgments in civil and commercial matters recognised in other EU countries.
The introduction of the new rules followed a 2010 survey, which found that almost 40% of businesses would be more inclined to trade outside their home market if the procedures for settling court disputes abroad were simplified. They contain a number of key provisions, including:
"This is very good news for Europe's citizens and SMEs," commented Vera Jourová, the EU's Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. "These new rules could bring savings of between €2,000 and €12,000 per individual case. It is a successful delivery on the promise to cut red tape and strengthen the EU's Single Market.”
“Such action will make a significant difference in particular for small and medium enterprises and will open up many more opportunities for business across Europe,” she added.
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