In the EU there are 2 ways to seek to have a judgment enforced in a different EU jurisdiction:
1) the European Enforcement Order (EEO) procedure or
2) obtain a declaration of enforceability in the Member State where enforcement is sought.
The EEO allows the creditor to avoid the need to obtain a declaration of enforceability in the Member State where enforcement is sought.
EC Regulation 805/2004 created the European Enforcement Order (EEO) mechanism to allow the collection of debts in the EU.
This allows the enforcement in Ireland of a judgment obtained in another EU state. It also allows an Irish person or business to obtain a judgment here and obtain a European Enforcement Order which will allow its enforcement in other EU states.
Note that the EEO can only be obtained for uncontested claims.
However an uncontested claim is regarded as uncontested if:
- the debtor has expressly agreed to it by admission or by means of a settlement which has been approved by a court or concluded before a court in the course of proceedings; or
- the debtor has never objected to it in the course of the court proceedings; or
- the debtor has not appeared or been represented at a court hearing regarding that claim after having initially objected to the claim in the course of the court proceedings; or
- the debtor has expressly agreed to it in an authentic instrument.
The EEO is a certificate which you can obtain here in Ireland from the District, Circuit or High Courts which enables judgments, court settlements and instruments on uncontested claims to be recognised and enforced in another EU State, without the need to bring any additional proceedings in the other EU State.
The whole purpose is to simplify access to enforcement of judgments in other member states without the need for additional court proceedings.
The procedure to have a judgment certified as a European Enforcement Order involves an application to the Court at which the judgment was given. This application must be accompanied by a grounding affidavit.
The effect of obtaining a European enforcement orders is that the judgment is treated as one which was obtained in the other EU state in which you wish to enforce it.
The procedure for enforcement is laid down in the national law of the Member State of enforcement.
If you are seeking to enforce a judgment in the UK for example you should then contact the local county court if the amount of the order is for less than £600. If the amount of the order is for more than £600 you should contact the local district registry of the High Court or the Royal Courts of Justice to begin enforcement.
Here is a useful booklet produced by the EU about European Enforcement Orders.
The relevant order in the District Court in Ireland which deals with European Enforcement Orders is Order 51C.