The Quintessence Of The European Small Claims Procedure

  • M.M. Ostapiak
Keywords: European Small Claims Procedure, simplified proceedings, small cases, cross-border cases.


The article considers the essence, features of application, principles of the European Small Claims Procedure (ESCP). Regulation (EC) No 861/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 established ESCP. This is the first autonomous supranational mechanism for considering small cross-border cases in the lawsuit proceedings. The purpose of this mechanism is to simplify proceedings with a foreign element in civil and commercial cases. An important aspect of this procedure is to preserve the basic principles ofjustice: access to justice, proportionality, reasonable timeliness of proceedings.

Particular attention is paid to the stages of consideration of the case under the European procedure from the completion of the application by the claimant to the possibility of appeal. The positive and negative aspects that may be encountered by the court and the parties during the consideration of the case were also analyzed. In particular, the advantages of this procedure include simplicity of procedure, priority of written proceedings (use of forms for filing a lawsuit, respond of a lawsuit), the participation of the parties in the proceedings without mandatory legal representation of lawyers, priority participation of a party in a court hearing through video or mobile means of communication (in case of oral hearing), execution of the judgment regardless of the expiration of the term for appeal and without additional court procedures (exequatur).

However, the European Small Claims Procedure has shortcomings. In particular, there were a lack of awareness and misunderstanding of the procedure by the citizens and court employees, disproportionate costs for translation of court documents, legal assistance, and travel to another country (in the case of an oral hearing). These shortcomings may reduce the effectiveness of the European Small Claims Procedure. Therefore, the state needs to increase public awareness about this procedure. Judges need to be active in the court trial. They must explain in detail the rights and obligations of the parties, the possibility of the procedure.

The introduction of the ESCP in Ukraine will have a positive impact on Ukraine’s civil justice system, bring national principles of justice closer to world standards of justice, and increase the confidence of Ukrainian and EU citizens in judicial process of Ukraine.