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Press release

Go-ahead for the European Payment Order

Judicial cooperation - 03-10-2006 - 19:15
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The European Payment Order, the procedure designed to speed up resolution of cross-border payment claims, should soon enter into force, after the Legal Affairs Committee approved the measure at second reading on Tuesday. MEPs in the committee were satisfied with the results of negotiations with Member States, as the Council had accepted, in June, all the amendments adopted by the Parliament during the first reading.

The European Payment Order (EPO) should allow citizens and businesses to enforce uncontested payments through a harmonised process applicable in the whole of Europe.  According to the proposed regulation, it will be possible, for instance, to claim the payment of unpaid bills for purchases made via mail orders or Internet retailers through a simple procedure. The small business sector in particular should benefit from a simpler and cheaper procedure that at present for pursuing payments across the EU. The EPO will only apply to cross-border cases.
During the first reading, MEPs amended the Commission proposal to further simplify the procedure. They notably wanted to ensure that the application forms to introduce a European Payment Order, annexed to the Regulation, were user-friendly, suitable for on-line use and with a minimum of free text required.
If the full Parliament follows the Legal Affairs Committee's advice, the draft regulation will become law at this second reading stage.
Committee on Legal Affairs
Chair : Giuseppe Gargani (EPP-ED, IT)
Procedure: Codecision
Vote in plenary: October II, Strasbourg
REF.: 20061002IPR11283