Volume 46 (2009) / Issue 5
Civil procedure is an increasingly important element of the European Union’s legal system. The interest in it, both on the regulatory and on the academic side, has grown considerably. Time has come to re-evaluate the position. While the policy of “judicial cooperation in civil matters” coordinated by the DG Freedom, Security and Justice contains most EU activities in the area, civil procedure is also the subject of attention from various other actors within the EU. Directorates General Internal Market, Competition, or SANCO are involved in regulating civil procedures on sectoral levels. There is little doubt that coordination of domestic civil procedure rules of European Union Member States is necessary to some extent. This paper tackles two important questions: how far should the harmonization of these rules reach, and can its aims be achieved by the approach taken by the EU at present? It emphasizes the recent phenomenon of decentralized harmonization as a particular challenge to the coherence of the EU policy in the area. It sketches a blueprint for a more coherent approach to Europeanization of civil procedures.
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