The European Enforcement Order provides creditors with a simplified method of enforcing debt judgments within the European Union (with the exception of Denmark). In practice, a European Enforcement Order is a certificate which enables judgments, court settlements and authentic instruments on uncontested claims to be recognized and enforced automatically in another Member State, without any intermediate proceedings. The procedure was established by Council Regulation 805/2004 and has been in force since 2005. When a European Enforcement Order is obtained, the creditor does not need to obtain a declaration of enforceability in the Member State where the enforcement of the debt judgment is sought. The Regulation applies only to so-called uncontested claims in civil or commercial matters. In practice, a claim for a specific sum of money that has fallen due, and which the debtor does not object to, falls within the scope of the Regulation. According to the Regulation a claim shall be regarded as uncontested if:
- the debtor has expressly agreed to it by admission or by means of a settlement which has been approved by a court or concluded before a court in the course of proceedings; or
- the debtor has never objected to it, in compliance with the relevant procedural requirements under the law of the Member State of origin, in the course of the court proceedings; or
- the debtor has not appeared or been represented at a court hearing regarding that claim after having initially objected to the claim in the course of the court proceedings, provided that such conduct amounts to a tacit admission of the claim or of the facts alleged by the creditor under the law of the Member State of origin; or
- the debtor has expressly agreed to it in an authentic instrument.
A European Enforcement Order certificate is given upon the request by the creditor. The certificate is usually requested from the court that handled or handles the matter. The request may be made at any time during or after the proceedings. The certificate is issued by the court using a standard form.
After obtaining the European Enforcement Order, the creditor may then file an application to enforce the judgment with the competent authority in another Member State. The application shall include the following documents:
- a copy of the judgment which satisfies the conditions necessary to establish its authenticity; and
- a copy of the European Enforcement Order certificate which satisfies the conditions necessary to establish its authenticity; and
- where necessary, a transcription of the European Enforcement Order certificate or a translation thereof into the official language of the Member State of enforcement or into another language that the Member State of enforcement has indicated it can accept. In Finland a transcript or a translation must be provided in the Finnish, Swedish or English language. The translation shall be certified by a person qualified to do so in one of the Member States.
In some situations a judgment certified as a European Enforcement Order may, however, be refused, for example if the judgment in question is irreconcilable with an earlier judgment given in the Member State of enforcement.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding European Enforcement Orders. At MK-Law we are happy to assist you with, for example, enforcing your existing judgments in Finland, Sweden or Estonia.