Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 of 18 December 2008 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations

DOUEEN, January 10, 2009Serie L

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Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 of 18 December 2008 on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations

10.1.2009 EN Official Journal of the European Union L 7/1

I

(Acts adopted under the EC Treaty/Euratom Treaty whose publication is obligatory)

REGULATIONS

COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 4/2009

of 18 December 2008

on jurisdiction, applicable law, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 61(c) and Article 67(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament (1),

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (2),

Whereas:

(1) The Community has set itself the objective of maintaining and developing an area of freedom, security and justice, in which the free movement of persons is ensured. For the gradual establishment of such an area, the Community is to adopt, among others, measures relating to judicial cooperation in civil matters having cross-border implications, in so far as necessary for the proper functioning of the internal market.

(2) In accordance with Article 65(b) of the Treaty, these measures must aim, inter alia, to promote the compatibility of the rules applicable in the Member States concerning the conflict of laws and of jurisdiction.

(3) In this respect, the Community has among other measures already adopted Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of

22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (3), Council Decision 2001/470/EC of 28 May 2001 establishing a European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters (4), Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001 on cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters (5), Council Directive 2003/8/EC of 27 January 2003 to improve access to justice in cross-border disputes by establishing minimum common rules relating to legal aid for such disputes (6),

Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility (7), Regulation (EC) No 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncon-tested claims (8), and Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2007 on the service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents) (9).

(1) Opinion given on 13 December 2007 (not yet published in the Official Journal) and opinion given on 4 December 2008 following re-consultation (not yet published in the Official Journal).

(2) Opinion given following non-obligatory consultation (OJ C 185,

8.8.2006, p. 35).

(3) OJ L 12, 16.1.2001, p. 1.

(4) OJ L 174, 27.6.2001, p. 25.

(5) OJ L 174, 27.6.2001, p. 1.

(6) OJ L 26, 31.1.2003, p. 41.

(7) OJ L 338, 23.12.2003, p. 1.

(8) OJ L 143, 30.4.2004, p. 15.

(9) OJ L 324, 10.12.2007, p. 79.

L 7/2 EN Official Journal of the European Union 10.1.2009

(4) The European Council in Tampere on 15 and 16 October 1999 invited the Council and the Commission to establish special common procedural rules to simplify and accelerate the settlement of cross-border disputes concerning, inter alia, maintenance claims. It also called for the abolition of intermediate measures required for the recognition and enforcement in the requested State of a decision given in another Member State, particularly a decision relating to a maintenance claim.

(5) A programme of measures for the enforcement of the principle of mutual recognition of decisions in civil and commercial matters (1), common to the Commission and to the Council, was adopted on 30 November 2000. That programme provides for the abolition of the exequatur procedure for maintenance claims in order to boost the effectiveness of the means by which maintenance creditors safeguard their rights.

(6) The European Council meeting in Brussels on 4 and 5 November 2004 adopted a new programme called 'The Hague Programme: strengthening freedom, security and justice in the European Union' (hereinafter referred to as The Hague Programme) (2).

(7) At its meeting on 2 and 3 June 2005, the Council adopted a Council and Commission Action Plan (3) which implements The Hague Programme in concrete actions and which mentions the necessity of adopting proposals on maintenance obligation...

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