The establishment, maintenance and development of an area of freedom, security and justice, in which the free movement of persons, goods and service is guaranteed, is the main principle of the European Union. With Regulation No. 805/2004 for the first time the restrictions of the exequatur proceedings as a precondition for enforcing an enforcement order, issued in another Member State, have been overcome. The Regulation introduces the European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims by laying down minimum standards which guarantee the free circulation of judgments, court settlements and authentic instruments throughout all Member States without any intermediate proceedings needing to be brought in the Member State of enforcement prior to recognition and enforcement, with only one exception – the Regulation does not apply to Denmark.
Regulation No. 805/2004 is applicable in civil and commercial matters, whatever the nature of the court or tribunal. The Regulation, however, does not apply to the status or legal capacity of natural persons, rights in property arising out of a matrimonial relationship, wills and succession, bankruptcy, proceedings relating to the winding-up of insolvent companies or other legal persons, judicial arrangements, compositions and analogous proceedings, social security and arbitration.
Regulation No. 805/2004 is applicable regarding judgments, court settlements and authentic instruments on uncontested claims where the notion “uncontested claims” is autonomous for the purpose of the Regulation. A claim is regarded as uncontested if the debtor has agreed to it by admission or by means of a settlement which has been approved by a court or concluded before a court, or the debtor has never objected to the claim in the course of the relevant court proceeding. A claim is regarded as uncontested also if the debtor has initially objected to the claim in the course of the court proceeding but their conduct amounts to a tacit admission of the claim. Lastly, an uncontested claim is such which the debtor has expressly agreed to in an authentic instrument. In order to avoid the exequatur proceedings, the given act has to be certifies as a European Enforcement Order in the Member State of origin. A judgment on uncontested claims which is given in a Member State is certified as a European Enforcement Order upon lodging an application and after the fulfilment of specific, listed in detail, requirements has been estimated.
If only parts of the judgment meet the requirements of the Regulation, only these parts are certified as a European Enforcement Order. The European Enforcement Order certificate is issued in an official standard form in the language of the judgment.
In the event of an issued European Enforcement Order, the judgment will be enforced as a judgment given in the Member State of enforcement.
The creditor is required to provide the competent authorities with a copy of the judgment which satisfies the necessary conditions and a copy of the European Enforcement Order certificate. If the court demands it, the creditor also has to provide a transcription of the European Enforcement Order or a translation thereof in the official language of the Member State of enforcement.
According to the provisions of Regulation No. 805/2004 the creditor cannot require any security, bond or deposit, however described, on the ground that they are a foreign national or that they are not domiciled or resident in the Member State of enforcement. Grounds for refusal of enforcement have been envisaged in the Regulation – if the judgment certified as a European Enforcement Order is irreconcilable with an earlier judgment given in any Member State or in a third country provided that certain, listed in detail, requirements are met.
Regulation No. 805/2004 is a substantial and significant step towards the fulfilment of the main principles and purposes of the European Community. The enforcement facilitations are an indisputable achievement of the European legislator which guarantee the civil and commercial turnover.