Possibilities how to better protect the rights of EU citizens will be searched in Vilnius

11 September 2013, Last updated at, 12:57 EEST
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author: European Commission

Lithuania, holding Presidency over the EU Council, will be searching for ways how EU citizens could use the European Small Claims Procedure, which is applied to cross-border civil and commercial cases, more efficiently. The Ministry of Justice together with the European Commission (EC) and with the representatives of the Academy of European Law (ERA), are organizing an international conference on the civil law "European Small Claims Procedure - how civil law instruments serve the interests of the EU citizens" on 12-13 September in Vilnius.

During the conference it is expected to examine the European Small Claims Procedure, established by Regulation of the European Parliament (EP) and the Council, and to discuss the main features of this procedure, its advantages and shortcomings.

Lawyers practitioners of the EU Member States will share their practical experience of the application of this procedure during both days of the conference. Discussions will be held on possible development and direction of the European Small Claims Procedure in order to better meet the interests of EU citizens.

"The year 2013 is the European Year of Citizens. Therefore, it is very important to guarantee prompt and efficient protection of the rights for the European Union citizens. These issues are particularly relevant nowadays, when we live in the European area without borders," Justice Minister Juozas Bernatonis emphasizes.

In the first half of 2013, EC launched public consultations seeking to find out whether the European Small Claims Procedure established by Regulation of the EP and the Council in 2007 should be simpler, better and more modern.
Currently, the European Small Claims Procedure is applied in cross-border civil and commercial cases, if the claim amount, excluding interest, costs and expenses, does not exceed 2 000 Euros (about 6 905 Litas) at a time when the competent court receives a claim form.

The Regulation provides for basic procedural actions of the procedure, and for solving non-regulated issues, the Member State, in which the European Small Claims Procedure is performed, applies its law. The claimant starts the European Small Claims Procedure by completing a standard application form and lodging it with the court of the relevant Member State where the procedure is started directly, by post or other reasonable means of communication.
The decision made in a Member State by applying the European Small Claims Procedure is recognized and enforced in another Member State without the need for a declaration of enforceability and without any possibility of opposing its recognition.

The conference will be held on 12-13 September at Le Meridien Vilnius hotel. Experts of the civil law from the EU Member States, guests from the EC, the EU Council, EP, ERA, representatives from the Seimas, Lithuanian universities, Lithuanian consumer organizations, the legal professions will participate at the conference.

Justice Minister J. Bernatonis, representatives of the EC and the Academy of European Law, well-known Lithuanian and foreign researchers - Prof. Habil. Dr. Valentinas Mikelėnas, Prof. Dr. Egidija Tamošiūnienė, Prof. Dr. Vytautas Mizaras, lawyers of foreign states - prof. Dr. Xandra E. Kramer, Prof. Dr. Elena D'Alessandro, Prof. Wolfgang Hau, Prof. Burkhard Hess will attend the conference.

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