Procedural Harmonisation in a European Context

  • Burkhard Hess


This chapter analyses the procedural landscape in the European Union, and the extent of harmonisation. The legislative activities of the EU started in the context of international procedural law, for which Article 65 EC Treaty (now Article 81 TFEU) provided the legal basis. The second area of legislative activity of the EU relates to the domestic procedures of the Member States, where a sectoral approach is taken. The principles of effectiveness and equivalence regarding the enforcement of EU law also have an impact on civil procedure, including the new competence to harmonise procedural laws if these do not sufficiently implement substantive EU law, laid down in Article 114 TFEU. Further harmonisation is reached through the minimum requirements laid down in specific instruments, such as the European Enforcement Order Regulation. It is clear that the legislative approach in international civil procedural law has changed during the last decade, from the coordination of national procedures and improved traditional instruments of private international law, to connecting the procedural systems of the Member States and to overcoming obstacles to the free movement of judgments. Furthermore, there is a trend towards the constitutionalisation of European civil procedure. In the present period of transition, it is high time for procedural scholarship to start a broad discussion within academia on the future architecture of European procedural law.


National Court Civil Procedure Brussels Convention Judicial Cooperation Collective Redress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. ASSER PRESS, The Hague, The Netherlands, and the authors/editors  2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Private International Law and Comparative LawUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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