Judicial Cooperation of the EU in Civil Matters in Its Relations with Non-EU States - A Blind Spot?
in Alan Uzelac/Rhemco van Rhee (Hrsg.), Public and Private Justice (PPJ) 2017: The Transformation of Civil Justice, Springer 2018, Forthcoming
20 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2018
Date Written: 2018
Mutual trust is the bedrock of the EU's internal policy regarding judicial cooperation. When it comes to cooperation with third States, however, there seems to be a blind spot. Indeed, most -if not all - FTAs concluded by the EU remain silent on judicial cooperation. This fact is surprising, inasmuch as European external trade in goods and services accounts for 35% of EU GDP. And each single transaction that contributes to this large volume of foreign trade takes place within the applicable framework of private international law-a fact that does not seem to be perceived as strongly as the relevance of foreign trade as such. Such a result is unfortunate, since the combination of trade agreements and judicial cooperation measures would certainly foster the integration process. Therefore, this paper discusses possible options that could improve the current situation, such as inserting a provision in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) along the lines of Article 220 EEC in order to stimulate intergovernmental negotiations on judicial cooperation; introducing a declaration of intent by the Parties to accede to the core Hague instruments on judicial cooperation in all FTAs; and, creating a tailor-made instrument or chapter on judicial cooperation in existing FTA texts. In the latter case, it would be necessary to verify that the EU actually has the competence to adopt such a measure, either through Article 81 TFEU or Article 207 TFEU. Regardless of the option that will eventually be selected, this paper argues that private international law must no longer be a blind spot in building extra-EU trade relations.
Keywords: mutual trust, judicial cooperation, external trade, Free Trade Agreements
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation