Restricted enforcement protection against European Enforcement Order

Berlin, 2022-10-10

As early as 2004, Directive (EC) No 805/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21st April 2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims (EuVTVO) introduced the possibility of simplified enforcement from the titles of courts of another EU Member State if the underlying claims are not disputed.

As the Federal Court of Justice ruled in July this year (decision of 7th July 2022 – IX ZB 38/21), concerning unpaid fees from an Austrian law firm, the possibilities for legal protection in the enforcement of such titles are limited, since the debtors concerned require less protection because the underlying claims remain undisputed. Only the legal remedies mentioned in the EuVTVO itself, such as the possibility to apply for a correction of the title in the state of origin, and (national) legal protection possibilities in the state of enforcement are permissible unless there are corresponding special regulations in the EuVTVO.

Therefore, according to the Federal Court of Justice, an appeal to enforcement obstacles under the EuGVVO applicable to disputed decisions is already inadmissible. The Federal Court of Justice therefore ‘red-cards’ debtors who stall for time. This is good news for creditors who rightly demand prompt enforcement in these cases.

Author: Lutz Paschen, Attorney at law, PASCHEN Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB