The European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters: good work, but should improve
The Commission published on 10 March 2016 a report on the activities of the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters (COM/2016/0129 final).
The overall assessment is positive as the Commission observes that the Network has provided substantial support for efficient judicial cooperation between Member States in civil and commercial matters and the full participation of its members is an integral part of the day to day implementation of the Union acquis in civil justice matters. Moreover, the amendments to the Decision introduced in 2009 have contributed to the Network’s positive development.
The Network has proved to work effectively although improvements in its operations can be made within the existing legal framework. Therefore, the Commission draws the conclusion that there is no need to amend the Decision.
However, there are still areas in which the Network should further develop its capacities further so as to meet its responsibility in ensuring the smooth application of Union instruments of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters. The Commission has identified seven key points for further action to improve the Network’s functioning.
Firstly, all contact points should be given the necessary resources and support at national level, in order to be able to effectively cope with their increasing tasks.
Secondly, networks should be established at national level in all Member States, bringing together national Network members, ensuring interaction at a national level as well as knowledge sharing and gathering of information.
Thirdly, a stronger integration of judges and other judicial authorities as well as legal professionals in all of the Network’s activities should be ensured. Fourthly, synergies with other European networks pursuing similar aims should be extended.
Fifthly, an even greater visibility of the Network should be achieved, in particular on the basis of the ongoing work to enhance its presence and through a dedicated section in the European e-Justice Portal as well as to enhance the Network’s presence on the national websites of the institutions to which Network members belong to and by disseminating information via social media and other communication channels.
Moreover, the Network’s role in the full ex post evaluation of existing instruments should be further developed through the identification and collection of key statistical data based on national data collection mechanisms.
Finally, the Commission intends to assess the financial and technical implications of putting in place a tool or adapting an existing electronic information exchange tool for secure communication and registration to be used by the contact points.
(Altalex, 18 April 2016. Article by Emmanuel Guinchard)