Abolition of Exequatur Provisional paper libre.pdf
of the Council did not include a specific call for the abolition of intermediate measures7,
but the Commission assumed that the suppression of exequatur had to be evaluated.
Point 4.3 of the Annex to the Communication from the Commission to the Council and
the European Parliament on the Hague Programme8 considers “the evaluation of the
possibility of the suppression of exequatur” as one of the tasks that should be done in
order to strengthen the efficiency of justice and improve mutual recognition and
effective access to justice in civil matters. The timetable scheduled by the Commission
establishes that this evaluation should be done in the period 2008-2010. Similarly, the
Council and Commission Action Plan implementing the Hague Programme on
strengthening freedom, security and justice in the European Union9 includes the
“evaluation of the possibility of completing the abolition of exequatur (2006 to 2010),
and legislative proposals if appropriate”10.
As we have just seen, the abolition of exequatur became a specific goal for the period
2006-2010 as a consequence of a subtle evolution from the Council plan of November
2004 to the Council and Commission Action Plan of August 2005. The evaluation of
the existing instruments, which was required by the November Plan, was substituted by
an evaluation of the possibilities of abolishing the exequatur. The result of this change is
that no evaluation of the existing instruments (Regulation 2201/2003 and Regulation
805/2004) was made11. In spite of this fact, in the last years some new Regulations have
carried on with the task of suppressing exequatur. These Regulations are Regulation
See the Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 4-5 November 2004
(http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/82534.pdf). Point 3.4.2 (mutual
recognition of decisions in civil matters) established the continuation of the implementation of the
programme of measures on mutual recognition, but without any specific request of abolishing the
exequatur. On the contrary, the Council recommended “a careful review of the operation of instruments
that have recently been adopted”. Moreover, it seems that in the absence of such previous review the
adoption of new measures would not be advisable: see point 3.4.2 in fine, according to which “The
outcome of such reviews should provide the necessary input for the preparation of new measures”.
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – The Hague
Programme: Ten priorities for the next five years. The Partnership for European renewal in the field of
Freedom, Security and Justice, COM(2005) 184 final.
OJ, C 198 of 12.8.2005.
See the contribution of the French Government to the Green Paper on the review of Regulation 44/2001
(http://ec.europa.eu/justice/news/consulting_public/news_consulting_0002_en.htm). This contribution
points out that it would be advisable to test how the existing Regulations are working before eliminating
exequatur in Regulation 44/2001. See also the contribution of the United Kingdom (ibid.), which
indicates that “we would be interested to hear whether the Commission considers the experience that is
currently available as to the practical operation of these instruments [Regulations 805/2004, 1896/2006
and 861/2007] is sufficiently positive to justify placing reliance on them as satisfactory models in the
current exercise”. In a similar sense, see also the contributions of Poland (p. 1) and of the Zentralverband
des deutschen Handwerks (p. 1).