Regulation (EU) 2020/1784 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents)

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Series Details L 405, Pages 40-78
Publication Date 02/12/2020
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Regulation (EU) 2020/1784 - formally adopted by the co-legislators on 25 November 2020 - setting out a number of amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007, which establishes fast-track channels and uniform procedures for transmitting documents from one Member State to another, for purposes of service in the latter.

Further information:

Regulation (EC) 1393/2007 aims to put in place a fast, secure and standardised transmission procedure for judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters between parties located in different European Union (EU) countries. The Regulation includes certain minimum standards on the protection of the rights of defence, and sets uniform legal conditions for serving a document by post directly across borders.

The European Commission conducted a REFIT evaluation on the Regulation in 2017 to assess its practical operation. The findings of that report were used as a basis for the problem definition in the impact assessment accompanying this proposal for amendments. Primarily, the report highlights that modern channels of communication (relying on technology) are in practice not used. This proposal also makes a contribution with an aim to improve the efficiency of the existing methods. It complements the list of alternative methods of cross-border transmission and service of documents by the method of electronic service.

The proposal was tabled by the European Commission on 31 May 2018 as part of a package for the modernisation of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters. The plenary of the European Parliament adopted the its position on 13 February 2019, which was carried forward in January 2020. Following a number of discussions, the Council of the European Union eventually adopted its general approach on 7 February 2020. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text for this draft law was reached on 30 June. The Council formally endorsed it on 4 November, followed by the Parliament on 23 November. The co-legislators signed the Act on 25 November 2020, which was published in the Official Journal on 2 December.

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Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, May 2019: Reform of the Service of Documents Regulation

EUR-Lex: COM(2018)379: Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents)
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)286: Executive summary of the impact assessment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2018)287: Impact assessment
Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on Service of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents)
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: Revision of the Regulation on the Service in the Member States of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters
European Commission: Press Release, 31/05/2018: Commission proposes to modernise and digitalise EU civil judicial cooperation
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 30/06/2020: Modernising judicial cooperation across borders: Presidency and Parliament reach provisional agreement on the taking of evidence and the service of documents regulations
European Parliament: Press Release, 30/06/2020: Deal on digitalisation of access to justice will benefit citizens
European Commission: Statement, 22/07/2020: Digitalising and modernising judicial cooperation: Council endorses provisional agreement reached with the European Parliament on service of documents and taking of evidence
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 04/11/2020: Digital Europe: Council adopts new rules to modernise judicial cooperation in taking of evidence and service of documents

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