On 6 December 2012, the EU Council of Ministers adopted the proposed reform of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (known as the "Brussels I Regulation"). The European Commission published its proposal for the reform of the Regulation in December 2010 (see our Client Bulletin of 18 January 2011 for more information). The reforms were recently approved by the European Parliament on 20 November 2012.
The Regulation will come force 20 days after its publication in the EU’s Official Journal, which is expected in the coming weeks. It will enter into application two years after that date, in early 2015.
The Regulation will make EU member state judgments immediately enforceable across the EU without the need for an intermediate registration process in the enforcing state (i.e. abolish the so-called “exequatur” procedure which requires companies to first go through a time-consuming and costly procedure in courts to get a judgment in civil and commercial matters recognised in another EU country). The Regulation also clarifies the absolute exclusion of arbitration from the ambit of the Regulation.