Procedure : 2009/0031(CNS)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0058/2009

Texts tabled :

A7-0058/2009

Debates :

Votes :

PV 24/11/2009 - 4.16
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2009)0077

REPORT     *
PDF 175kDOC 93k
13 November 2009
PE 428.217v02-00 A7-0058/2009

on the proposal for a Council decision amending Decision 2006/326/EC to provide for a procedure for the implementation of Article 5(2) of the Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Denmark on the service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters

(COM(2009)0100 – C6-0108/2009 – 2009/0031(CNS))

Committee on Legal Affairs

Rapporteur: Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a Council decision amending Decision 2006/326/EC to provide for a procedure for the implementation of Article 5(2) of the Agreement between the European Community and the Kingdom of Denmark on the service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters

(COM(2009)0100 – C6-0108/2009 – 2009/0031(CNS))

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2009)0100),

-    having regard to Articles 61(c) and 300(2), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0108/2009),

–   having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A7-0058/2009),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal;

2.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

4.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The issue in brief

Parliament is consulted on the procedure by which the Community can authorise Denmark to enter into certain international agreements in the area of European civil procedure.

Background

Denmark does not take part in the adoption of measures proposed under the title of the Treaty which includes judicial cooperation in civil matters(1). As a consequence, instruments adopted in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters are not binding upon or applicable to Denmark which is considered for these purposes as a third country. The Community has so far concluded two international agreements with Denmark, extending to it the application of two crucial instruments in the civil law field, namely

· the Brussels I Regulation(2), and

· the Regulation on the service of documents(3).

Both international agreements provide that Denmark needs the consent of the Community (excluding Denmark) before it can enter into further international agreements which may affect or alter the scope of both Community instruments(4). However, nowhere is any procedure laid down for the giving of such consent.

The Commission considers that this lack of a procedure for the giving of consent "urgently requires a solution"(5). Rather than trying to amend the international agreement, which it considers to be a cumbersome procedure, its proposal is to amend both Council Decisions on the conclusion by the Community of the international agreements, without the involvement of Denmark.

Both proposals are based on the same legal basis as the original Council Decisions, i.e. Articles 61(c), 300(2)(i) and 300(3)(i).

Content of the twin proposals

The Commission proposes two procedures.

The first procedure provides that the Commission alone would have the power to give the Community's consent to Denmark. This procedure would apply where the Member States had already been authorised to conclude, in the interest of the Community, the international agreement which Denmark requests becoming a party to, or where the Community had already concluded it itself.

It should be recalled in this respect that a mechanism has recently been agreed for the negotiation and conclusion of bilateral agreements between Member States (except for Denmark) and third countries(6). However, that mechanism does not currently apply to the Brussels I Regulation(7), and therefore there is no machinery to mitigate the fact that, according to the Court of Justice, the Community has exclusive competence to conclude international agreements in the area of jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters(8).

The second procedure is identical to the first one with the addition of an advisory comitology procedure(9). This procedure would apply where the first one does not.

The rationale for this duality of procedures is that in the first category of cases, the assessment of whether the Community measures are affected by the international agreement will already have been undertaken.

Approach of the rapporteur

A first exchange of views on both proposals took place in the Committee on Legal Affairs with the former rapporteur, Manuel Medina Ortega, on 21 April 2009.

In principle, your rapporteur, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, bearing in mind:

· the importance of the integrity of the acquis in the area of freedom, security and justice, and in particular the desirability of two crucial instruments of European civil procedure applying throughout the Union,

· the importance of ensuring that Denmark is subject to the same level of scrutiny as any other Member State when it seeks to enter into international agreements affecting the Brussels I and Service of Documents Regulations,

· the limited latitude afforded by the consultation procedure,

is minded to commend the two proposals to the Committee and recommend that it vote in favour of them.

However, she has certain reservations which she would like to discuss in committee with the Commission before the vote on this report goes ahead.

Additional remark

The two proposals should also be seen in the context of the modification of Denmark's situation with regard to judicial cooperation in civil matters following the possible ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon. Indeed, the protocol on the position of Denmark in the area of freedom, security and justice would be amended to include a passerelle to an "opt-in" system along the lines of the one currently applying to the UK and Ireland, rather than the current blanket "opt-out"(10). This would potentially remove the need for the mechanisms discussed above, should Denmark choose to opt into any particular measure, for example the Brussels I Regulation or the Regulation on the service of documents.

(1)

Protocol 5 annexed to the EC and EU Treaties on the position of Denmark (1997), Article 1. "Denmark shall not take part in the adoption by the Council of proposed measures pursuant to Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community".

(2)

Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, OJ L 12, 16.1.2001, p. 1.

(3)

European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters, OJ L 324, 10.12.2007, p. 79.

(4)

The international agreements were concluded by Council Decisions 2006/325/EC, OJ L 120, 5.5.2006, p.22, and 2006/326/EC, OJ L 120, 5.5.2006, p. 23. Article 5(2) of both international agreements:

"Denmark will abstain from entering into international agreements which may affect or alter the scope of the Brussels I Regulation as annexed to this Agreement unless it is done in agreement with the Community and satisfactory arrangements have been made with regard to the relationship between this Agreement and the international agreement in question."

See by analogy the judgment in Case C-22/70 Commission v. Council (European Road Transport Agreement - ERTA),

ECR [1971] 263.

(5)

COM(2009) 100 final, explanatory memorandum, p.3.

(6)

Regulation No 662/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a procedure for the negotiation and conclusion of agreements between Member States and third countries on particular matters concerning the law applicable to contractual and non- contractual obligations, OJ L 200, 31.7.2009, p. 25.

(7)

See recital 21 on the future Commission report on the application of the Regulation which refers indirectly (by reference to recital 5) to a possible extension of the mechanism to the Brussels I Regulation. See also the statement in the Council minutes: "The Council invites the Commission to consider carefully, when preparing its report under Article 10, whether, in the light of the experience gathered on the application of the Regulation, the Regulation on its expiry should be replaced by a new one covering the same subject matters or including also other matters covered by other Community instruments. In the context of the report on the application of the Regulation on applicable law, the Commission should consider, in particular, whether a possible new Regulation should cover recognition and enforcement under Regulation (EC) No 44/2001.", and the Commission's response: "The Commission takes note of this invitation and will examine it carefully in its report on the application of the Regulation, without prejudice to its own competences."

(8)

Opinion 1/03 of 7 February 2006 (Competence of the Community to conclude the new Lugano Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters) [2006] ECR I-1145.

(9)

Article 3 of Decision 1999/468 of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.

(10)

See Article 8 and the Annex of Protocol 22 on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the Union.


PROCEDURE

Title

The service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (amendment of Decision 2006/326/EC)

References

COM(2009)0100 – C6-0108/2009 – 2009/0031(CNS)

Date of consulting Parliament

27.3.2009

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

JURI

2.4.2009

Rapporteur(s)

       Date appointed

Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg

2.9.2009

 

 

Discussed in committee

5.10.2009

 

 

 

Date adopted

10.11.2009

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Raffaele Baldassarre, Luigi Berlinguer, Sebastian Valentin Bodu, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Jiří Maštálka, Bernhard Rapkay, Evelyn Regner, Francesco Enrico Speroni, Alexandra Thein, Diana Wallis, Cecilia Wikström, Tadeusz Zwiefka

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Edit Herczog, Edvard Kožušník, Kurt Lechner

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Sajjad Karim

Last updated: 16 November 2009Legal notice