EU Regulation 1215/2012 enters into force – Enforceable judgments in civil and commercial matters from one Member State are automatically enforceable in any other EU member

On January 10, 2015, EU Regulation 1215/2012 entered into force. The regulation on the jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters reforms the s.c. Brussels I Regulation, which was a first step toward the facilitation of civil judicial cooperation in the EU.

Regulation EU 1215/2012 establishes – among others – that a judgment given in a Member State shall be recognized in another Member States “without any special procedure”. The automatic enforceability of judgments abolishes the old “exequatur” procedure, according to which a judgment had to be validated and declared enforceable by courts in the Member State of enforcement before being executed.

The reform brought by Regulation 1215/2012 includes other key changes among which:

  • a better protection for consumers and employees in disputes involving non-EU countries. Consumers and employees will have access to the courts of the country of residence (or work) without having to go to the non-EU country where sellers or employers are located.
  • more certainty in case of choice of courts agreements. If the parties conferred exclusive jurisdiction to a Member State court, any other Member State court shall stay the proceedings brought before it until the court provided for in the jurisdiction agreement has ruled whether or not it has jurisdiction to determine the matter.

As for the enforcement of judgment, the procedure should be similar to those US  jurisdictions that that have adopted the Uniform Act, where “foreign” judgments are enforced upon filing the judgment itself with the Clerk of the court. Pursuant the new EU regulation, a judgment rendered in a member state will be enforced in another member state as a domestic judgment (Article 39) except that the party that wants to enforce it will need, besides a copy of the judgment, a certificate pursuant to Annex I of the Regulation which will be obtained from the court of origin (Article 42 and 53).

The full text of EU Regulation 1215/2012 is available at

Press Release concerning the application of the reform is available at

EU Regulation 1215:2012

For information: Francesca Giannoni-Crystal