Abolition of Exequatur Provisional paper libre.pdf
ABOLITION OF EXEQUATUR: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS.
MUTUAL RECOGNITION, MUTUAL TRUST AND RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN JUDGMENTS:
TOO MANY WORDS IN THE SEA
Dr. Rafael Arenas García
SUMMARY: I. Introduction: A. First steps B. Regulation 44/2001 II. The exequatur as
a procedure. III. Exequatur and grounds for the refusal of recognition: A. The mutual
recognition of judgments: 1. Mutual recognition and mutual trust. 2. The principle of
mutual recognition 3. The grounds for the refusal of recognition: a) Introduction. b)
Examination of the jurisdiction of the court which delivered the judgment. c) Conflict
with another decision. d) Inappropriate service. e) Public policy. B. The quest for
mutual trust. IV. Conclusion.
A. First steps
The abolition of exequatur is one of the objectives laid down by the European Union
(EU) in order to strengthen the European Area of Justice. The Stockholm Programme
establishes that “the process of abolishing all intermediate measures (the exequatur),
should be continued”1. This represents the last formulation of an idea that had already
been introduced in the European Policy by the Tampere Programme. Point 34 of the
latter urges the Commission to make proposals for further reducing the intermediate
measures required to enable the recognition and enforcement of decisions or judgments
in the requested State2. As a consequence of this mandate, the Commission drew up
some Proposals that later became Regulations. Regulation 2201/2003 concerning
This contribution has been elaborated in the framework of the Research Project “Interacción entre la
autonomía de la voluntad y la protección de los intereses generales en la regulación de la actividad
internacional de las sociedades”, financed by the Subdirección General de Proyectos de Investigación del
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. Reference: DER2009-09039 (subprograma JURI). Main investigator:
Dr. Rafael Arenas García.
The author thanks Dr. Crístian Oró Martínez, postdoctoral researcher at the Universitat Autònoma de
Barcelona, for the revision of the English text and for his comments and suggestions. The author is fully
responsible for all mistakes.
“In civil matters the European Council calls upon the Commission to make a proposal for further
reduction of the intermediate measures which are still required to enable the recognition and enforcement
of a decision or judgment in the requested State. As a first step these intermediate procedure should be
abolished for the tittles in respect of small consumer or commercial claims and for certain judgments in
the field of family litigation (e.g. on maintenance claims and visiting rights). Such decision would be
automatically recognised throughout the Union without any intermediate proceedings or grounds for
refusal of enforcement. This could be accompanied by the setting of minimum standards on specific
aspects of civil procedural law.”; http://www.europarl.europa.eu/summits/tam_en.htm.