The Bundesrat

Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Regulation (EC) No 861/2007 of the European Parliament and the Council of 11 July 2007 establishing a European Small Claims Procedure and Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 creating a European order for payment procedure

Scrutiny details

Subsidiarity deadline: 29/01/2014
Scrutiny Information

Scrutiny date: 14/03/2014

Subsidiarity Concern:

No Important information to exchange

No Veto

Information on parliamentary scrutiny

Referred to Committees on:

European Union Questions
Legal Affairs
Economic Affairs

Lisbon Treaty procedures
  Political Dialogue

14/03/2014 | Scrutiny results COM 20130794

n its 920th plenary session on Friday 14 March 2014 the Bundesrat adopted the following contribution which was addressed to the European Commission, in the context of the political dialogue:

The Bundesrat welcomes the aim of the Commission to facilitate access to justice for consumers and SMEs in cross-border cases with little claims, by means of a simple, quick and cost-effective procedure. However, it addresses several critics on the proposed revision of the existing rules.

In particular, it considers that the extension of the scope of the Regulation to cross-border claims up to 10.000 EUR goes too far. This is five times more than the 2.000 EUR limit foreseen in the current Regulation. To talk in this context about small claims may appear difficult to convey, especially to consumers and SMEs, for whom the Commission wants to make this procedure more attractive.

The Bundesrat is also sceptical about the extension of the definition of cross-border cases. According to the text of the proposal, a case could already be recognized as cross-border, if two persons living in Germany agreed, while they are on vacation in Mallorca, on the sale of a car located in Germany. In the view of the Bundesrat, there is no need in such a case to follow a special procedure that differs from the German civil procedure.

Furthermore, the Bundesrat criticizes the provisions allowing the use of oral hearings only as an exception. In this context, it stresses the importance of a personal impression, which can only in easy cases be equally replaced by the use of modern electronic means of communication, and the need to better take into account the right of the defendants to defend themselves comprehensively. In addition, the right of judicial hearing is a fundamental right guaranteed in the German constitution.

The Bundesrat is aware of the fact that since its introduction in 2007, the Small Claims Procedure has only been very rarely used. In the view of the Bundesrat, this does however not necessarily mean that the legal provisions need to be revised. In particular, the proposed extension of the scope of the Regulation does not appear as appropriate means to increase the attractiveness of this procedure. What are needed are a consolidation and an implementation of the existing rules, in order to make them better-known by the consumers and SMEs, and thus increase the use of this procedure.

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