Response to the Public Consultation on the European Enforcement Order (EEO)


The response was prepared by Xandra Kramer, Professor of private law and European Civil Justice at Erasmus University Rotterdam and (Co-)Reporter of the ELI-UNIDROIT European Model Rules of Civil Procedure project.

The EEO came into existence with Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 with the intention of simplifying the cross-border enforcement of uncontested claims. It is for the first time since its enactment that the EEO is subject to a broad policy evaluation.

The response first characterises the EEO Regulation in comparison with other instruments for cross-border debt collection including the Brussels I (recast) Regulation, the European Order for Payment Procedure (EOP), the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP), and the European Account Preservation Order (EAPO). The EEO Regulation is rather complex, as it combines elements of a uniform European procedure by including minimum requirements for the service of documents (listing eleven ways of service) and the provision of information to the debtor, with features of an ‘enforcement-only’ system similar to Brussels I (recast) since it concerns the certification of a judgment obtained in a procedure based on domestic law.

In addition to this complexity, the response stresses the difficulties of using the EEO in light of the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU. Firstly, the national judgment needs to be certified as an EEO, which can only be carried out by a judge if the debtor’s rights of defense and the right to a fair trial are not to be violated. Secondly, the complex system of safeguards provided for in the EEO Regulation does not fully protect from the potential violation of the right to be heard.

The response, therefore, argues that the added value of the EEO has to be re-evaluated. Should it be decided to retain the EEO Regulation, the operation of the Regulation will benefit from a clarification of the concept of uncontested claims, improved and harmonised rules of service of documents, and a clear-cut mechanism of safeguards securing the rights of the debtor. In improving the EEO Regulation and aligning the various instruments of European civil procedure and their advancement, the work on developing minimum standards of European civil procedure and the new ELI-UNIDROIT European Model Rules of Civil Procedure can be a source of reference.

The full response is available here.