Strasbourg

European parliament approves judicial equality rule

Any verdict in one state to become effective in all EU states

European parliament approves judicial equality rule

Strasbourg, November 20 - The EU took one step closer to becoming a United States of Europe Tuesday after the European Parliament voted to enact a rule which calls for all member states to immediately adopt the verdicts issued in civil and commercial cases in any one member state. Prior to the vote on the so-called ''Brussels 1'' rule, recognition of a verdict in a civil or commercial case in one country was not automatic in all other member countries. Instead, under a procedure called ''exequatur'', any person from a different EU country who wanted the verdict recognized had to go through a bureaucratic process and spend anywhere between 2,000 to 12,000 euros. The new rule was approved by a huge majority of the European Parliament, with 567 in favor, 28 opposed and 6 abstentions. ''It's a small revolution for justice in Europe, which brings us closer to the single-market model of the United States, where every verdict is recognized in all the states of the union,'' Viviane Reding, vice president of the European Commission and the rule's author, said Tuesday. Under the new rules, any verdict achieved in any member country is immediately effective in all EU member states.

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