Euro Mediation

Alternative Dispute Resolution at the European Community Level

     

Extract from the ACTION PLAN OF THE COUNCIL AND THE COMMISSION ON HOW BEST TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THE TREATY OF AMSTERDAM ON AN AREA OF FREEDOM, SECURITY AND JUSTICE

Text adopted by the Justice and Home Affairs Council of 3 December 1998

(1999/C 19/01)

II.         Judicial cooperation in civil matters

39.       The aim is to make life simpler for European citizens by improving and simplifying the rules and procedures on cooperation and communication between authorities and on enforcing decisions, by promoting the compatibility of conflict of law rules and on jurisdiction and by eliminating obstacles to the good functioning of civil proceedings in a European judicial area. It will be necessary to improve the coordination of Europe's courts and the awareness of Member States' laws, particularly in cases with important human dimensions, having an impact on the everyday life of the citizens. Measures to be taken within two years

40.       The following measures should be taken within two years after the entry into force of the Treaty:

(a)        finalisation, if it has not been completed, of work on the revision of the Brussels and Lugano Conventions,

(b)        drawing up a legal instrument on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations (Rome I),

(c)        begin revision, where necessary, of certain provisions of the Convention on the Law applicable to contractual obligations, taking into account special provisions on conflict of law rules in other Community instruments (Rome I),

(d)        examine the possibility of extending the concept of the European judicial network in criminal matters to embrace civil proceedings. Highly individualised contact points in each Member State could permit greater awareness of Member States' laws and ensure better coordination of proceedings in cases with important human dimensions (crossborder parental disputes, for example).

Measures to be taken within five years

41.       The following measures should be taken within five years after the entry into force of the Treaty:

(a)        examine the possibilities to draw up a legal instrument on the law applicable to divorce (Rome III):

After the first step on divorce matters taken with Brussels II in the field of jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments, the possibilities to agree on rules determining the law applicable in order to prevent forum shopping needs to be explored on the basis of an in-depth study,

(b)        examine the possibility of drawing up models for non-judicial solutions to disputes with particular reference to transnational family conflicts. In this context, the possibility of mediation as a means of solving family conflicts should be examined,

(c)        examine the possibility of drawing up a legal instruments on international jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of judgments relating to matrimonial property regimes and those relating to succession. In elaborating such instruments, the connection between matrimonial property and rules relating to succession should be taken into account. Work already undertaken within the framework of the Hague Conference of Private International Law should be taken into account,

(d)        identifying the rules on civil procedure having cross-border implications which are urgent to approximate for the purpose of facilitating access