With 10 years in force and counting, the European Order for Payment (EOP) Procedure has successfully simplified and improved cross-border litigation in Europe. Despite its effectiveness, it has largely avoided the limelight and is a tool for recovering overdue payments that deserves some attention.
Reflecting Europe’s shift toward a single market, the European Parliament drafted the Procedure specifically to provide EU residents with a simpler, more effective way to overcome recurring challenges, such as the recovery of monetary assets from customers or shareholders in other countries.
The EOP Procedure is an internationally recognized process that a creditor can utilize in uncontested, cross-border claims, offering a systematic channel of communication between the two courts of the relevant EU countries involved.
Firstly, the Procedure is fast: the steps and documentation are streamlined across all EU member states, excluding Denmark. This relatively quick path to resolution means decreased litigation costs.
Before the Procedure, recovering rightfully owned capital from someone residing in another country was about as complicated as it sounds, requiring travel and introducing a host of language, legal and cultural barriers.
Now, when a Luxembourg-based company, for example, wants to take action against a customer or shareholder residing in another EU member state, there is a widely accepted channel through which it can file a claim and, more importantly, have it enforced.
This less intimidating, expensive and time-consuming process decreases the gap between the people and the justice system. Startups, small companies and those with small claims will find this avenue particularly appealing.
Overall, the EOP Procedure is a positive development in the single market landscape…
After ensuring that the case fulfills necessary conditions, the process continues with the submission of a detailed application to a court in the creditor’s place of residence. If approved, the judge grants an order and sends it to the court in the debtor’s country, which then takes actions to deliver the order. After delivery, the debtor has 30 days to contest.
Preceding the EOP, the European Enforcement Order notably abolished the exequatur requirement for the enforcement of judgments across EU member state borders. The European Small Claims Procedure followed afterward. Together, these three regulations overhauled the process of enforcing creditors’ rights within the EU.
Overall, the EOP Procedure is a positive development in the single market landscape that exhibits how cooperation on a judicial level can directly empower citizens if they know the available options.
At Kaufhold & Réveillaud, Avocats, we have turned to the EOP Procedure in recent cases due to its effectiveness, specifically in the recovery of payment from shareholders who have not paid out their portions of company capital. All European creditors should be aware of this powerful tool.