The Civil Justice Union: Fiction or Reality?

September 30, 2020

Abstract
 

The increase in cross-border activities resulting from the establishment of the European single market corresponds to the increased probability for European citizens of being implicated in cross-border civil law proceedings. Due to the lack of a genuine common legal system, cross-border litigation confronts the plaintiff with unfamiliar legal traditions, laws, and languages. This article aims to demonstrate, that such obstacles impede individuals’ access to justice and judicial protection, which undermines the legitimacy of the single market and detrimentally affects European citizens’ trust in further economic integration. Arguing, that the future of the single market is contingent on transnational judicial protection, it assesses the state of the current civil justice union, embodied by of the two existing genuine European civil procedures, that deal with the implications of cross-border trade: the European Small Claims Procedure and the European Order for Payment Procedure. Accordingly, the confidence of individuals in cross-border services and legal proceedings will be contrasted with the success of these two procedures, measured by their decree of utilization and European citizens’ awareness of them. The findings indicate that, although the legal framework exists, trust in judicial protection remains low on the factual level, which creates an impediment for further economic integration. A genuine civil justice union, that provides judicial protection with rules common to all Member States, will thus determine the future of the single market.     

Built on the four freedoms, the single market has spurred the continuous increase of cross-border activities of consumers and businesses resident in the European Union (EU). An ever-increasing number of Europeans buy goods and services form actors resident in other EU Member States or leave the Member State of their citizenship and travel through Europe for work, studying or simply to make holidays. This increase corresponds to the growing probability that EU citizens are implicated in legal proceedings.[1] After all, providing or receiving transnational services and goods might pose immense problems if contractual services exhibit legal defects, particularly in commercial and civil justice matters.[2] However, litigating cross-border disputes would often require the plaintiff to lodge a claim in another Member State, or to have foreign judgments recognized by another Member State before being able to enforce them. Thus, legal remedies in cross-border cases would confront the plaintiff with differing procedural and substantive laws and an unfamiliar procedural language. All these factors, which are detrimental to individual judicial protection, impede the readiness to engage in cross-border activities.[3]

 

I contend, that a genuine common economic area, in which EU citizens trust, requires a civil justice union, with rules common to all Member States. The future of the single market and its potential to thrive in transnational endeavors is contingent upon EU citizens’ confidence in cross-border activities, which, in turn, requires effective access to justice and individual judicial protection. The legitimacy and future of the single market, therefore, is conditional on legal integration through (1) providing access to justice and judicial protection on the legal level, which (2) promotes trust in the single market on the factual level. Accordingly, this article examines the legitimacy of further economic integration from the perspective of the individual, exemplified by two genuine European civil procedures, which constitute the epitome of judicial protection for EU residents. In this vein, the European Order for Payment Procedure (EOP) and the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP) embody the legal protection linked to the convergence of national markets to the single market by offering unified rules in cross-border debt collection in one single, simple and rapid procedure. The establishment of these procedures raises the question, whether they have indeed formed a civil justice union – on the abstract, legal level as well as on the factual level of knowledge and usage. European citizens’ confidence in cross-border activities and resultant proceedings will be assessed by the decree of the EOP’s utilization and EU citizens’ knowledge about the ESCP, which will be contrasted with individuals’ attitudes towards cross-border proceedings before and after their entry into force.

 

While public support for European integration was extensively discussed and measured on the basis of economic, political and social considerations, the legal aspect of integration from the perspective of the individual remains largely unaddressed. Discussions concerning legal integration have focused primarily on the supranational level from a public law perspective, which perceived law primarily as an instrument to achieve integration. On the individual level, however, legal integration is, on the one hand, a fundamental legal basis of legitimacy for the integration process, and on the other an invaluable instrument for fostering trust in the internal market. To demonstrate this, I will, first, analyze the different dimensions of European integration and set its legal aspects into the perspective of the access to justice as the legal basis for the legitimacy of the European integration process, and its role of fostering individuals’ trust in cross-border activities. Second, I examine the evolution of the civil justice union and the framework of the two European civil procedures facilitating EU residents’ access to justice to cross-border litigation. Finally, I will analyze the impact of these procedures on European integration by measuring the attitudes of EU citizens towards cross-border proceedings.

 

I. European integration and its legal aspects

 

The concept of European integration has always been regarded as a multidimensional and interdependent process.[4] Political integration has been described as the enlargement of the EU and consolidating the different interests of Member States.[5] Economic integration, which constituted for the Union’s founding fathers the precondition for political, and ultimately, social integration,[6] aims at creating a transnational economic area by converging national markets to the single market.[7] From the sociological perspective, integration has been described, “as a process in which different social systems unite to form a cohesive entity”,[8] which was, in turn, regarded as a prerequisite for political integration.[9]

 

In contrast, legal integration was always primarily perceived as a means for achieving integration[10] and described succinctly as the establishment of a supranational system.[11] The role of law in the integration process was theorized extensively from the institutionalist perspective,[12] focusing particularly on the European Court of Justice either as an instrument of dominant Member States[13] or as an anomaly in supranational authority.[14] The aggregate level of legal integration was measured by transnational dispute resolutions cases decided by the European Court of Justice in preliminary reference procedures,[15] which were found to be particularly used by actors that engage in cross-border activities to increase their economic endeavors.[16] In legal literature, Roeben examined the increasing institutionalization of judicial protection within the EU judicial architecture, promoted by the judgments of the European Court of Justice and the treaties, shaping “a single code of procedure”.[17] Moreover, common civil procedural laws were argued to be vital for a common economic area and a prerequisite for harmonizing private international law.[18]

 

Law is, however, more than the abstract construction material of a supranational entity, detached from European citizens. It rather is the cause and consequence of economic, social and political integration. Social and economic interaction across borders “drives integration processes, generating social demands for supranational rules”.[19] Those who engage in exchanging goods and services in the single market thus require a normative framework that provides “European rules, standards, and dispute resolution mechanisms.”[20] Increasing cross-border exchange entails a growing need for supranational legal frameworks, which underlines that also law plays a significant role in the integration process. From the individual’s perspective, which has not been addressed so far, legal integration is linked to the legitimacy of European integration on the legal level through providing judicial protection and access to justice, which also promotes trust in the single market on the factual level. Also, the European civil procedures have not yet received a discussion in the realms of political science. The paucity of literature is perhaps owed to the lack of comprehensive statistical data, which is limited to two implementation reports. Moreover, finding national statistics concerning the number of annual applications involves immense linguistic difficulties, since these are (if at all) published only in the respective Member State’s official language.

 

1. Access to Justice as the basis of legitimacy of European Integration

 

Legal integration in the sense of providing access to justice to remedy unintended effects of the single market is an integral basis of legitimacy for European integration itself. This stems from human rights and constitutional considerations of the EU, enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union. According to this provision, the Union “is founded on the values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.”[21] The adherence to these values is the ever-present precondition for membership at the EU, and their violation a ground for suspending Member States’ rights.[22]

 

The concept of access to justice pertains to every single notion, particularly to the rule of law, democracy, and human rights. As a constitutional principle of the EU, every individual has the right to seek a remedy before a court if their rights are infringed[23] by Member States or by a private party.[24] The right to a fair trial[25] and the right to an effective remedy[26] are fundamental and human rights enshrined in primary law and protect human dignity and personal freedom. The principle of the rule of law aims to prevent arbitrariness. It encompasses the principles of legality, legal certainty, equality before the law, respect for human rights and the access to justice.[27] This fundamental principle binds both Member States and all EU Institutions.[28] For a democratic society, effective access to justice as well as the rule of law are indispensable, interconnected preconditions.[29] They are the fundamental basis of legitimacy for every State, which makes access to justice and the judicial protection of the rights of individuals also a vital requirement for European integration.[30] Due to the rising probability of legal proceedings resulting from increasing cross-border trade, the legitimacy of further economic integration, therefore, depends on increasing legal integration. Consequently, by establishing an internal market, the EU has created its own obligation to provide access to justice and to improve mechanisms to settle disputes raised by internal market dynamics and cross-border activities.

 

2. Trust in Economic Integration through Legal Integration

 

Apart from serving as the fundamental basis for European integration, judicial protection also constitutes an important factor in the creation and fostering of trust in the single market.[31] Varying procedural and substantive laws and different procedural languages undermine legal certainty and foreseeability.

 

Public opinion in judicial proceedings that might arise from cross-border purchases does not depict a picture of trust in individual judicial protection. According to the first Eurobarometer on civil justice conducted in 2008,[32] before the entry into force of the EOP and ESCP, 55% of survey participants considered accessing justice in other Member States as difficult.[33] The main concerns regarding litigation in other Member States were unfamiliarity with the procedural rules in other Member States (52%), language barriers (40%), costs of procedures (27%) and lacking trust in cross-border procedures (20%). Public opinion also showed that these problems should be solved by uniform procedures on the EU level (57%).

 

While cross-border distance purchases have continuously increased throughout the past two decades, consumers are still more confident to engage with national retailers than with businesses located in other Member States.[34]Consumers considered accessing justice in another Member State as the primary obstacle for engaging in cross-border trade, naming the resolution of problems after the purchase (59%), and the difficulty to take legal action (51%) as their main concerns.[35] However, a genuine economic area requires that individuals have confidence in mechanisms, that rectify unintended detriments. Considering the repercussions from raising transnational economic activities, the lack of trust in judicial protection in cross-border proceedings called for legal integration.

 

II. Civil Procedure Rules in a Cross-Border Context

 

Before the establishment of genuine European civil procedures and legal integration in general, the courts of Member States adjudicated the extremely rare cross-border cases solely on national norms.[36] The normal course of a national civil procedure begins with a claim and ends with a verdict, which is the decision on the merits of the asserted claim. After the time limit for appeal has expired, the verdict becomes legally binding and constitutes an execution title for enforcement by using coercive State power to implement the rights and obligations adjudicated in the verdict.

 

Cross-border cases entail significant obstacles, which relate to the competent jurisdiction and the location where the judgment can be enforced. According to the principle of territoriality, jurisdiction is limited to the territory of a State. Therefore, national courts can only exercise jurisdiction if the actions that gave rise to a procedure have occurred within their territory. Thus, the legal maxim “actor sequitur forum rei” (“the plaintiff follows the matter’s forum”)[37] prescribes that the claim must be lodged in the country of residence or headquarters of business of the defendant. Thus, the proceedings will be held in the defendant’s country, applying national norms, confronting the plaintiff with an unfamiliar language, lack of legal knowledge and the necessity to travel in order to have the case adjudicated.

 

Civil proceedings may also be held in one Member State while the decision has to be enforced in another. This requires the recognition of the foreign judgment before it can be enforced. The principle of territoriality entails that Sates are under no obligation under public international law to recognize foreign judgments.[38] The enforcement of foreign judgments functioned only through the exequatur procedure, which determined whether a foreign judgment should be accorded extraterritorial effect and enforceability. States’ obligations to do so were subject to bi-and multilateral conventions[39] establishing reciprocal recognition of foreign judgments. Apart from the uncertainty raised for individuals, the exequatur also increased the workload of the courts of Member States significantly.

 

To deal with the developments of creating the single market, the European Council concluded in a special meeting in Tampere in 1999 that it was necessary to establish a “genuine European area of Justice” by enhancing the access to justice, providing for the “mutual recognition of judicial decisions” and by establishing “greater convergence in civil law”.[40] As a result, the Lisbon treaty makes reference to the Union’s “area of freedom, security and justice”,[41] which “shall facilitate access to justice, in particular through the principle of mutual recognition of judicial and extrajudicial decisions in civil matters.”[42] Cooperation in the judicial branch is now based on the principle of mutual trust, that is to say, the premise that all Member States’ judicial and legal orders are equally competent and have equal value.[43] The principle of mutual recognition of judgments, which is now enshrined in primary law,[44] is thus vital for ensuring “mutual trust in the administration of justice in the Member States.”[45]

 

Moreover, three regulations established legal institutions to “simplify, speed up and reduce the costs of litigation in cross-border cases”[46], which underline the process of increasing legal integration. As a first step, the European Enforcement Order (EEO) was created.[47] This certificate, which accompanied a judgment issued in a national procedure, confirmed the adherence to certain procedural guarantees, which made the judgment enforceable throughout the Union.[48] Thus, it abolishes the intermediate exequatur necessary to enforce judgments rendered by a court of another Member State and allowed the free circulation of judgments.[49] It did, however, not provide for a uniform procedure common to all Member States, which was finally introduced by the European Order for Payment Procedure and the European Small Claims Procedure.[50]

 

1. European Order for Payment Procedure[51]

 

The European Order for Payment Procedure (EOP) was established by Regulation 1896/2006 and entered into force on 12 December 2008. It constitutes the first genuine transnational procedure in civil matters within the Union and imitates to a large extent the Austrian payment order procedure on the EU level.[52] It applies territorially to all Member States except Denmark,[53] and materially to civil and commercial matters concerning monetary claims[54] with a cross-border aspect, that is to say, “in which at least one of the parties is domiciled or habitually resident in a Member State other than the Member State of the court seized.”[55] As an optional procedure, it is used in addition to prevailing national payment procedures. The EOP uses standard forms provided by the Regulation as a means of communication[56]and does not require legal representation by a lawyer.[57] Jurisdiction is governed by Regulation (EC) No 44/2001[58]and Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012[59] which stipulates that claims against and from a consumer can only be lodged in the State of residence of the consumer.[60]

 

All a consumer must do to recover debt from a debtor resident in another Member State, is filling in the Form A (most importantly name and address of the parties, amount of the claim, subject matter of the dispute and description of the facts and evidence)[61] and submit it in paper or electronic form to the competent court.[62] After its examination, the court issues within 30 days the European order for payment and a copy of Form B, which can be used by the debtor to oppose the claim. If opposed and sent within 30 days,[63] normal court proceedings are held to decide the dispute. In the case of an opposition, the creditor can also decide to terminate the proceedings or transfer the proceedings to the ESCP.[64] If no statement of opposition is lodged within 30 days, the court of origin declares the EOP as enforceable, which must be recognized and enforced by all Member States without an additional exequatur.[65]

 

2. European Small Claims Procedure[66]

 

A similar procedure provides the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP), which was established by Regulation 861/2007 and entered into force on 1 January 2009. Also, the ESCP is applicable to civil and commercial matters with a cross-border element.[67] In contrast to the EOP, which has no value limit, the ESCP should simplify and facilitate the recovery of small claims,[68] which were initially set to a maximum of EUR 2000[69] and subsequently amended to EUR 5000.[70] It should particularly protect consumers and repercussions of cross-border online shopping since they benefit from the legal forum of their residency.[71] It equally facilitates debt recovery of small and medium-sized businesses.[72]Measures to facilitate citizens’ access to this procedure was that it is a written procedure[73] without mandatory legal representation,[74] open to the usage of modern communications technology to provide for a hearing[75] (e.g. video- or telephone conference) and low costs proportionate to the value of the claim.[76]

 

In contrast to the EOP, the competent court sends the defendant the claim within 14 days, who has to respond in filling in an answer form within 30 days.[77] After doing so, the court sends a copy of the reply to the plaintiff. Within 30 days after receiving the answer, the court adjudges the cases based on the written claims, or may also request additional details in writing or arrange an oral hearing if it considers it necessary.[78] If the deadline expires without an answer, the court issues a judgment.[79] The judgment is enforceable in all Member States even before becoming final.[80] The creditor only has to submit the judgment and the translated “judgment confirmation.”[81]

 

In 2013, EU citizens were asked which measures would encourage them to go to court in another Member State. 33% stated that written proceedings would do so, 26% if legal representation is not necessary, 24% if the proceedings are carried out in one’s own language and 20% if the proceedings are online.[82] The EOP and ESCP indeed meet these requirements, except for the common language. Both procedures particularly empower consumers in debt recovery,[83] in allowing them to lodge claims from their country of residence[84] and facilitate the access to justice by creating standardized forms which are the primary means of communication.[85] Moreover, the EU established online guides and toolkits to help to identify the competent court.[86] In theory, these procedures, thus, have facilitated access to justice in cross-border disputes significantly.

 

III. Assessing the European Civil Procedures by Knowledge and Annual Applications

 

The genuine European civil procedures EOP and ESCP have contributed to the formation of a civil justice union on the legal level. The question now is, if this resulted in the increased perception of converging legal rights and obligations in a common economic space. In this regard, I will compare the amount of lodged applications for the EOP in 2012 with the statistics of Austria, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Spain from 2015 and 2018. Regarding the ESCP, I will compare EU citizens’ knowledge of the ESCP examined by Eurobarometer surveys from 2010 and 2013. The success of these two instruments, as well as a general trend of EU residents’ attitudes towards converging legal institutions in civil matters, will be measured by increasing annual claims lodged for the EOP and increasing knowledge of the ESCP. A rise in cases and knowledge indicates a growing awareness of and trust in judicial protection within the single market. I will set the results in comparison to EU citizens’ perceived difficulties in cross-border disputes from the years 2008 and 2010.

 

Respective data is drawn from the Special Eurobarometer surveys on Civil Justice from 2008[87] and 2010,[88]the Special Eurobarometer on the Small Claims Procedure from 2013,[89] the European Commission’s report on the implementation of the EOP from 2015[90] and studies from 2013 and 2014 commissioned by the Union concerning the ESCP,[91] which provide the average amount of cases of most Member States during the years 2009-2012. The only statistics concerning the annual EOP applications from 2015 and 2018 are provided by Austria, Germany,[92] Ireland,[93]Luxembourg,[94] and Spain.[95] The way and period of assessment is chosen for practical reasons. Three to five years after the entry into force of the respective procedures is sufficient time for citizens to become familiar with the procedures and assessing the annual amount of cases every three years is a timeframe that allows gaining a representative picture. The reason why the EOP is measured by annual applications and the ESCP by EU citizens’ knowledge is owed to two reasons. First, contrasting knowledge of the ESCP and the caseload between 2009 and 2012 allows making inferences about the cause low annual application numbers. Moreover, since a high level of awareness of the legal framework corresponds to the higher confidence of EU citizens in their national justice system,[96] the same applies to the EU. The second reason is practical and owed to the fundamental lack of available statistical data.[97] Data concerning the annual amount of ESCP cases is almost inexistent, the only Eurobarometer on civil justice assessing the awareness of both transnational procedures was published in 2010 and the 2013 Eurobarometer survey on the ESCP only offers data on the ESCP, not the EOP. Unfortunately, no other Eurobarometer providing more comprehensive and recent data was conducted to date.

 

 

 

 

The amount of cases after the implementation of the two procedures varies significantly between Member States. The annual amount of EOP applications reached between 12.000 and 13.000 in 2012, constituting 24,7 applications per 1 million citizens.[98] Applications in Austria and Germany overshadow other countries, accounting for approximately 60% of total applications throughout the EU. The annual amount of applications lodged in 2015 and 2018 remained largely constant, with a fundamentally increase in Spain. Austria remains with 42,9 applications per 100.000 inhabitants the country with the most EOP applications in 2018, followed by Luxembourg (25,5), Spain (12,5), Germany (4,9) and Ireland (4,2).[99] The overall consistency of EOP applications and their raise in Spain indicate, that this procedure is still used as an instrument for cross-border debt recovery, with a trend upwards.

 

As regards the ESCP, an estimated 3.500 applications were lodged in 2012 in the entire EU, which only constitutes 6,6 applications per 1 million citizens.[100] Between 2010 and 2013, the knowledge of citizens concerning the ESCP has increased by 4% (2010: 8%, 2013: 12%) throughout the Union. Estonia and Ireland are the countries with the highest citizens’ awareness of the ESCP. In Ireland, this may have resulted also in an increase of applications (2015: 129; 2018: 293).[101] The fact, that only 12% of EU citizens know about the ESCP shows, that with regard to small claims, we are far from a genuine civil justice union. Only in Spain a significant amount of applications was lodged.

 

Comparing the perceived difficulties of cross-border cases from 2008 and 2010, no trend towards being more ready to engage in legal proceedings can be ascertained. In 2010, more than 56% of EU citizens stated that they believe it “‘very’ or ‘fairly’ difficult to access civil justice in another EU Member State.”[102] Compared with the Eurobarometer survey from 2008, this indicator augmented by 1%. The main concerns of survey participants according to the 2010 Eurobarometer regarding litigation in other Member States were unfamiliarity which substantive (42%) and procedural (38%) provisions.[103] Compared to the survey participants in Eurobarometer 2008, the lack of knowledge of procedural laws decreased by 12%, language barriers by 10% and lacking trust in cross-border procedures by 5%.

 

Considering this data, the ESCP and EOP seem to only have a marginal impact on fostering trust by enhancing individual judicial protection. Although these procedures increase access to justice significantly on the legal level, citizens’ usage and knowledge of the procedures remain generally low. However, the EOP seems to have a promising future, while the results of the ESCP are disappointing. The fundamental lack of awareness regarding the two procedures constitutes the biggest obstacle for their success. Thus, at the legal level, the procedures are in place and ready to contribute to citizen legal empowerment. As the lack individual judicial protection undermines the potential of the single market, it is now up to the EU and its Member States to raise awareness of cross-border procedures. This would ensure that the civil justice union does not remain a fiction but become a reality, and boost cross-border exchange.

 

***

 

In this paper, I have argued that the future of economic integration is contingent on individual judicial protection and access to justice in cross-border procedures. Legal integration matters to EU citizens, since a genuine common economic area increases cross-border activities and thus, the need to establish transnational judicial protection. The concept of access to justice, which is imperative for a democratic society and the basis of legitimacy for European integration, is a vital component for fostering the trust of EU residents in judicial protection within the single market. Throughout the integration process, the EU has increased access to justice at the legal level, notably through the two genuine European civil procedures ESCP and EOP. The decree of their factual utilization indicates, that EU citizens increasingly use the EOP. Knowledge of the ESCP, however, remains low. Cross-border proceedings are still perceived as an obstacle, since settling disputes in another EU Member State, whose procedural and material laws and procedural language differ significantly, undermine legal certainty and foreseeability. Considering EU citizens’ perceptions of judicial protection in cross-border cases, we find ourselves still far from a genuine civil justice union. The strengthening of transnational European procedures will, thus, determine the future of the economic integration.

Endnotes

 

[1] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Special Eurobarometer 351 Civil Justice (Report). October 2010, p. 4.

 

[2] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Special Eurobarometer 351 Civil Justice (Report). October 2010, p. 4.

 

[3] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. The EU explained: Justice, fundamental rights and equality [online]. November 2014, [accessed December 9, 2019], p. 3. Available at: https://europehouse-kosovo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Justice_fundamental_rights_and_equality_eng-1.pdf; EUROPEAN CONSUMER CENTRES NETWORK. For a Europe which protects its consumers in their daily lives [online]. October 2019, [accessed December 9, 2019], p. 2. Available at: https://www.europe-consommateurs.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/eu-consommateurs/PDFs/PDF_EN/Programme_Politique_EN_Web.pdf.

 

[4] NYE, Joseph. Comparative Regional Integration: Concept and Measurement. International Organization. 1968, Vol. 22 Nr. 4. 855–880; EPPLER, Annegret. ANDERS, Lisa, TUNTSCHEW, Thomas. Europe ́s political, social, and economic (dis-)integration: Revisiting the Elephant in times of crises. Institute for Advanced Studies. 2016. p. 7.

 

[5] EPPLER, ANSERS, TUNTSCHEW. 2016. p. 9.

 

[6] EUROPEAN UNION. Schuman Declaration - 9 May 1950 [online]. No date. [Accessed December 9, 2019]. Available at: https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/symbols/europe-day/schuman-declaration_en; EPPLER, ANSERS, TUNTSCHEW. 2016. p. 7.

 

[7] NYE. 1968. p. 858.

 

[8] KEUTEL, Anja. Die Soziologie der europäischen Integration. Berliner Journal für Soziologie [online]. May 2011, Vol. 21, [accessed December 9, 2019]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11609-011-0146-z.

 

[9] FRIEDRICH, Carl Joachim. Föderalismus in Theorie und Praxis. Politische Vierteljahresschrift. 1964, Vol. 5, p. 154-187.

 

[10] CAPPELLETTI, Mauro, SECCOMBE, Monica, WEILLER, Joseph. Integration through Law. Europe and the American Federal Experience In CAPPELLETTI, Mauro, SECCOMBE, Monica, WEILLER, Joseph. Integration Through Law. De Gruyner 1986, Vol. 1 Book 1, 3–68. p. 42. ARMSTRONG, Kenneth. Legal Integration: Theorizing the Legal Dimension of European Integration. Journal of Common Market Studies, June 1998, Vol. 36, No. 2, p. 155–174. p. 156.

 

[11] PITARAKIS, Jean-Yves, TRIDIMAS, George. Joint Dynamics of Legal and Economic Integration in the European Union. European Journal of Law and Economics. 2003, Vol. 16, 357–368, p. 1.

 

[12] ARMSTRONG. 1998.

 

[13] GARRETT, Geoffrey. The Politics of Legal Integration in the European Union. International Organization. 1995, Vol. 49. No. 1, p. 171–181.

 

[14] MORAVCSIK, Andrew. Preferences and Power in the European Community. Journal of Common Market Studies, December 1993, Vol. 31, No. 4, p. 473–524.

 

[15] STONE SWEET, Alec, BRUNELL, Thomas L. Constructing a Supranational Constitution: Dispute Resolution and Governance in the European Community. American Political Science Review, March 1998, Vol 92, No. 1, p. 63–81; PITARAKIS, TRIDIMAS. 2003.

 

[16] CARRUBBA, Clifford, MURRAH, Lancey. Legal Integration and Use of the Preliminary Ruling Process in the European Union. International Organization, 2005, Vol. 59 No. 2, p. 399–418.

 

[17] ROEBEN, Volker. Judicial Protection as the Meta-norm in the EU Judicial Architecture. Hague Journal on the Rule of Law [online]. February 2019. [accessed December 10, 2019], Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40803-019-00085-3.

 

[18] KRAMER, Xandra E. Harmonisation of Civil Procedure and the Interaction with Private International Law In KRAMER, Xandra E, van RHEE, Remco C.H. Civil Litigation in a Globalizing World. T. M. C. Asser Press. 2012, p. 121-139.

 

[19] SANDHOLTZ, Wayne, STONE SWEET, Alec. Integration, Supranational Governance, and the Institutionalization of the European Polity In SANDHOLTZ and STONE SWEET. European Integration and Supranational Governance. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. p. 1–26, p. 5; PARSONS, Craig. Sociological Perspectives on European Integration In ONES, Erik, MENON, Anand, WEATHERILL, Stephen. The Oxford Handbook of the European Union. Oxford University Press, 2013. p. 49–58, p. 49.

 

[20] SANDHOLTZ, Wayne, STONE SWEET, Alec. Neo-Functionalism and Supranational Governance In JONES, Erik, MENON, Anand, WEATHERILL, Stephen. The Oxford Handbook of the European Union. Oxford University Press, 2013. p. 19–27.p. 21.

 

[21] TREATY ON THE EUROPEAN UNION (TEU), Article 2.

 

[22] TEU, Articles 7, 49(1); DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES OF THE UNION. The EU framework for enforcing the respect of the rule of law and the Union’s fundamental principles and values [online]. January 2019, [accessed December 8, 2019], p. 9. Available at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2019/608856/IPOL_STU(2019)608856_EN.pdf.

 

[23] Charter Of Fundamental Rights of The European Union (CFEU), Article 47; European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), Article 6.

 

[24] CFEU, Article 47; ROEBEN. 2019.

 

[25] ECHR, Article 6.

 

[26] CFEU, Article 47; ECHR, Article 13.

 

[27] DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES OF THE UNION. 2019, p. 10-11; EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE, Joined Cases C-317/08 to C-320/08, Rosalba Alassini v. Telecom Italia SpA et al. Judgment, [online]. March 18, 2010, [accessed December 8, 2019], para 49. Available at: ECLI:EU:C:2010:146.

 

[28] DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES OF THE UNION. 2019, p. 12.

 

[29] DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES OF THE UNION. Effective Access to Justice [online]. November 2017, [accessed December 8, 2019], p. 21. Available at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/596818/IPOL_STU(2017)596818_EN.pdf.

 

[30] ROEBEN. 2019.

 

[31] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. The EU explained: Justice, fundamental rights and equality [online]. November 2014, [accessed December 9, 2019], p. 3. Available at: https://europehouse-kosovo.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Justice_fundamental_rights_and_equality_eng-1.pdf; EUROPEAN CONSUMER CENTRES NETWORK. For a Europe which protects its consumers in their daily lives [online]. October 2019, [accessed December 9, 2019], p. 2. Available at: https://www.europe-consommateurs.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/eu-consommateurs/PDFs/PDF_EN/Programme_Politique_EN_Web.pdf.

 

[32] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Special Eurobarometer 292: Civil Justice in the European Union (Report). April 2008.

 

[33] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Special Eurobarometer 292: Civil Justice in the European Union (Report), April 2008, p. 6 (very difficult: 20%; fairly difficult: 35%).

 

[34] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Flash Eurobarometer 358: Consumer Attitudes towards Cross-Border Trade and Consumer Protection (Report). June 2013, p. 23-25.

 

[35] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Special Eurobarometer 175: Views on Business-to-Consumer Cross-Border Trade (Report B). November 2002, p. 39-40.

 

[36] HESS, Burkhard. The State of the Civil Justice Union In HESS, Burkhard, BERGSTRÖM, Maria, STORSKURBB, Eva. EU Civil Justice: Current Issues and Future Outlook. Swedish Studies in European Law Vol. 7. Hart Publishing 2016. p. 1–20, p. 1.

 

[37] FELLMETH, Aaron X, HORWITZ, Maurice. Guide to Latin International Law [online]. 2011, [accessed December 9, 2019]. Available at: https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780195369380.001.0001/acref-9780195369380-e-76.

 

[38] LINTON, Marie. Abolition of Exequatur, All in the name of Mutual Trust! In HESS, Burkhard, BERGSTRÖM, Maria, STORSKURBB, Eva. EU Civil Justice: Current Issues and Future Outlook. Swedish Studies in European Law Vol. 7. Hart Publishing 2016. p. 1–20, p. 259; JÄNTERÄ-JAREBORG, Maarit. Foreign Law in National Courts. A Comparative Perspective. 304 Recueil des cours. 2003. p. 181–385, p. 204.

 

[39] Convention on The Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards 1958; Convention on Jurisdiction and The Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters 1988; Convention of 30 June 2005 on Choice of Court Agreements, Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of Judgments 1968.

 

[40] TAMPERE EUROPEAN COUNCIL. Presidency conclusions. [online]. 15 and 16 October 1999, [accessed 9 December 2019]. Available at: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/summits/tam_en.htm#c.

 

[41] TEU, Article 3(2); Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), Article 67.

 

[42] TFEU, Article 67(4).

 

[43] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Judicial Cooperation in Civil Matters in the European Union: A guide for legal practitioners. 2014, p. 5.

 

[44] TEU, Article 3(3); TFEU, Articles 67(3), 81.

 

[45] EOP, Recital 27.

 

[46] EOP, Recital 9; ESCP, Recital 8.

 

[47] Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims.

 

[48] EUROPEAN JUDICIAL NETWORK IN CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL MATTERS. Practice Guide for the Application of the Regulation on the European Enforcement Order. November 2008, p. 7.

 

[49] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. 2014, p. 7.

 

[50] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Practical Guide for the Application of the Regulation on the European Order for Payment [online]. 2011, [accessed December 8, 2019], p. 5. Available at: https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_order_for_payment_procedures-41-en.do; EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Practice guide for the application of the European Small Claims Procedure. 2013, p. 13.

 

[51] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Practical Guide for the Application of the Regulation on the European Order for Payment [online]. 2011, [accessed December 8, 2019]. Available at: https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_order_for_payment_procedures-41-en.do.

 

[52] KODEK, Georg E, MAYR. Peter G. Zivilprozessrecht. Facultas, 2016. p. 267.

 

[53] EOP, Article 2.

 

[54] EOP, Article 2.

 

[55] Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 creating a European order for payment procedure (EOP), Article 3.

 

[56] EOP, Annex 1.

 

[57] EOP, Article 24.

 

[58] Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

 

[59] Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.

 

[60] EOP, Article 6(2) in conjunction with Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012, Article 18 and Regulation (EC) No 44/2001, Article 16 

 

[61] EOP, Article 7.

 

[62] EOP, Article 7(5).

 

[63] EOP, Article 16(2).

 

[64] EOP, Article 17; Regulation 2015/2412, Article 2(2).

 

[65] EOP, Article 19.

 

[66] See for further details: EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Small Claims [online]. Last update: July 18, 2019, [accessed December 12, 2019]. Available at: https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_small_claims-42-en.do; EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Practice guide for the application of the European Small Claims Procedure. 2013. 

 

[67] ESCP, Article 2, 3.

 

[68] ESCP, Article 1; Recitals 1, 7-8, 36.

 

[69] ESCP, Article 2.

 

[70] Regulation (EU) 2421/2015 of the European Parliament and the Council of 16 December 2015 amending Regulation (EC) No 861/2007 establishing a European Small Claims Procedure and Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 creating a European order for payment procedure, Article 1(1).

 

[71] ESCP, Article 4 in conjunction with Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012, Article 18 and Regulation (EC) No 44/2001, Article 16.

 

[72] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Practice guide for the application of the European Small Claims Procedure. 2013, p. 7.

 

[73] ESCP, Article 5, Recital 14.

 

[74] ESCP, Article 10.

 

[75] ESCP, Articles 8-9.

 

[76] ESCP, Article 16.

 

[77] ESCP, Article 5.

 

[78] ESCP, Article 7.

 

[79] ESCP, Article 7.

 

[80] ESCP, Article 15.

 

[81] ESCP, Article 21.

 

[82] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Special Eurobarometer 395: Small Claims Procedure (Report). April 2013, p. 59.

 

[83] LITHUANIAN CONSUMER INSTITUTE. European Payment Order and European Small Claims Procedures: how can consumers use them? 2012.

 

[84] EOP, Article 6(2); ESCP, Article 4; EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Practice guide for the application of the European Small Claims Procedure. 2013, p. 7.

 

[85] EOP, Recital 11; ESCP, Recital 21.

 

[86] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Small Claims [online]. Last update February 19, 2019 [accessed December 8, 2019] Available at: https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_small_claims-354-en.do?clang=en; EUROPEAN COMMISSION. European Payment Order [online]. Last update February 19, 2019 [accessed December 8, 2019]. Available at: https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_european_payment_order-353-en.do?clang=en.

 

[87] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Special Eurobarometer 292: Civil Justice in the European Union (Report). April 2008.

 

[88] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Special Eurobarometer 351: Civil Justice (Report). October 2010.

 

[89] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Special Eurobarometer 395: Small Claims Procedure (Report). April 2013.

 

[90] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee on the application of Regulation (EC) 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council creating a European Order for Payment Procedure. October 2015, p. 13-15; EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY RESEARCH SERVICE. The European order for payment procedure. European Implementation Assessment. July 2016, p. 9.

 

[91] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY RESEARCH SERVICE. European Small Claims Procedure. Legal analysis of the Commission's proposal to remedy weaknesses in the current system. 2014, p. 30; DELOITTE. Assessment of the socio-economic impacts of the policy options for the future of the European Small Claims Regulation. July 19, 2013. p. 63, 66-67.

 

[92] Data was kindly provided by Prof. Hartmut Haller. See also MAYR, Peter, KRANZE, Heinz. Einige Rechtstatsachen aus der (ordentlichen) Gerichtsbarkeit [online]. No date. [Accessed December 10, 2019], p. 10. Available at: . https://www.uibk.ac.at/zivilverfahren/rechtstatsachen.pdf.

 

[93] IRELAND COURT SERVICE. Annual Report 2018 [online]. 2018, [accessed 13. December 2019] http://www.courts.ie/Courts.ie/library3.nsf/(WebFiles)/C2B4BFC1AFEC7B098025842D00473F25/$FILE/Courts%20Service%20Annual%20Report%202018.pdf; IRELAND COURT SERVICE. Annual Report 2015 [online]. 2015, [accessed 13. December 2019] Available at: http://www.courts.ie/Courts.ie/library3.nsf/(WebFiles)/B97E066344D4880080258083003407DF/$FILE/Courts%20Service%20Annual%20Report%202015.pdf.

 

[94] MINISTÉRE DE LA JUSTICE, GOUVERNEMENT DU GRAND-DUCHÉ DE LUXEMBOURG. Rapport d'activité 2018 [online]. February 2019, [accessed 13. December 2019], p. 234. Available at: https://gouvernement.lu/dam-assets/fr/publications/rapport-activite/minist-justice/2018-rapport-activite-mjust/2018-rapport-activite-mjust.pdf; MINISTÉRE DE LA JUSTICE, GOUVERNEMENT DU GRAND-DUCHÉ DE LUXEMBOURG. Rapport d'activité 2017 [online]. February 2018, [accessed 13. December 2019], p. 222. Available at: http://mj.public.lu/chiffres_cles/rapport_activite2017.pdf.

 

[95] PODER JUDICIAL ESPAÑA. Panorámica de la Justicia Durante 2015 [online]. 2015, [accessed 13. December 2019], p. 14. Available at: http://www.poderjudicial.es/cgpj/es/Temas/Estadistica-Judicial/Estudios-e-Informes/Panoramica-de-la-Justicia/; PODER JUDICIAL ESPAÑA. 2018. Panorámica de la Justicia Durante 2018 [online]. 2018, [accessed 13. December 2019], p. 16. Available at: http://www.poderjudicial.es/cgpj/es/Temas/Estadistica-Judicial/Estudios-e-Informes/Panoramica-de-la-Justicia/.

 

[96] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Flash Eurobarometer 385: Justice in the EU (Report). November 2013, p. 14.

 

[97] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY RESEARCH SERVICE. The European order for payment procedure. European Implementation Assessment. July 2016, p. 9; EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY RESEARCH SERVICE. European Small Claims Procedure. Legal analysis of the Commission's proposal to remedy weaknesses in the current system. 2014, p. 1.

[98] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee on the application of Regulation (EC) 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council creating a European Order for Payment Procedure. October 13, 2015, p. 3; Applications per 1 million inhabitants based on population numbers of January 1, 2012; EUROSTAT. EU 28 population 505.7 million at 1 January 2013 [online]. November 20, 2013, [accessed 10 December 2019]. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/5167222/3-20112013-AP-EN.PDF/73c338ef-13c4-42d2-99a5-179eabff244c.

 

[99] Based on population numbers of 1. January 2019. EUROSTAT. EU population up to over 513 million on 1 January 2019 [online]. July 10, 2019, [accessed December 10, 2019]. Available at:. https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/9967985/3-10072019-BP-EN.pdf/e152399b-cb9e-4a42-a155-c5de6dfe25d1.

 

[100] DELOITTE. Assessment of the socio-economic impacts of the policy options for the future of the European Small Claims Regulation. July 19, 2013. p. 73.

 

[101] IRELAND COURT SERVICE 2015 and 2018.

 

[102] EUROPEAN COMMISSION. Special Eurobarometer 351: Civil Justice (Report). October 2010, p. 9.

 

[103] I introduced the average of the outcome to this question into the table, since Special Eurobarometer 351 (p. 34) provided two answer options (procedural and substantive laws in another Member State) as opposed to Special Eurobarometer 292 (p. 9), which only had one.

 

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