Digitalising and modernising judicial cooperation: Council endorses provisional agreement reached with the European Parliament on service of documents and taking of evidence
The Council yesterday endorsed the provisional agreement reached with European Parliament on 30 June, on the European Commission's amended regulations for the service of documents and the taking of evidence abroad.
Vĕra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency and Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice and Consumers yesterday said:
“The Commission welcomes today's endorsement which takes us one big step closer to adopting major rules modernising the way civil and commercial matters work. This is excellent news for the growing number of EU citizens who settle in another EU country and businesses operating in other EU countries. The new rules on the service of documents and taking of evidence will boost the uptake of IT and the digitalisation in civil and commercial matters. They will make cross-border judicial proceedings faster and more efficient, giving citizens better access to justice and a fair trial, and will facilitate the work of legal practitioners. The experience with the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of digitalisation of justice, including when it comes to cross-border proceedings. These rules are an important step in this direction.”
These two Commission proposals, put forward in May 2018, are aimed at modernising and digitalising judicial cooperation in cross-border civil and commercial cases throughout the EU and making access to civil justice cheaper, more efficient and more accessible to citizens and businesses.
The transmission of documents and requests between Member States must be fast and safe. Once in place, the new rules regarding the service of documents will mean in practice that transmission will mandatorily take place via an electronic decentralised IT system, composed of interconnected national IT systems. Member States will have the possibility to use reference software developed by the EU, instead of a nationally-developed IT system.
Regarding the taking of evidence, the new rules promote the use of videoconferencing or any other distance communication technology where a witness, party or expert located in another Member State must be heard.
The EU justice agenda for 2020 stressed that in order to enhance mutual trust between Member States' justice systems, the need to reinforce civil procedural rights should be examined, for example as regards the service of documents. The aim of improving the framework of judicial cooperation within the EU is also in line with the objectives set out by the Commission in the digital single market strategy: In the context of e-government, the strategy expresses the need for more action to modernise public (including judicial) administration, achieve cross-border interoperability and facilitate easy interaction with citizens.
Latest News from
COVID-19: Member states need to harmonise health assessments and measures18/09/2020 16:33:00
Common definitions, health criteria and methodologies are key to effectively fighting the ongoing pandemic and its economic consequences in the EU, MEPs say.
Poland: Council has to “finally act” to protect minorities and the rule of law18/09/2020 15:25:00
Disrespect for judicial independence and the rights of LGBTI persons point to “overwhelming evidence” of breaches of EU values, Parliament says.
COVID-19 vaccines: Public hearing in European Parliament18/09/2020 14:33:00
Addressing the challenges linked to securing access to safe COVID-19 vaccines will be the main topic of an online hearing on 22 September from 09.00-12.00 in the European Parliament.
Parliament requests more support for regions to make energy transition a success18/09/2020 13:25:00
MEPs are ready to start negotiations with the Council on setting up the Just Transition Fund to mitigate the social impact of greening the economy.
European Green Deal Call: €1 billion investment to boost the green and digital transition18/09/2020 12:38:00
The European Commission yesterday decided to launch a €1 billion call for research and innovation projects that respond to the climate crisis and help protect Europe's unique ecosystems and biodiversity.
EU arms exports: need for more control and transparency18/09/2020 11:33:00
EU citizens have to be better informed about their governments’ strategic choices on an issue that directly affects their security, warn MEPs.
COVID-19: EU must step up efforts to tackle medicine shortages18/09/2020 10:38:00
Parliament calls for the EU to be more self-sufficient when it comes to medicines and medical equipment so that affordable treatments are available at any time.
Parliament says shipping industry must contribute to climate neutrality18/09/2020 09:25:00
To decarbonise maritime transport, Parliament voted to include CO2 emissions from the sector in the EU Emissions Trading System.
Vote on Own Resources: MEPs clear way for COVID-19 recovery plan17/09/2020 16:33:00
MEPs accelerate the procedure that will enable the EU to borrow €750 billion for the “Next Generation EU” recovery plan.