On 21 April 2009 the European Commission published a Report and Green Paper on the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (the Brussels I Regulation).
In October 2009, and in January 2010, the Commission’s proposals in the green paper were discussed at experts’ meetings. The Commission has identified reform of the Brussels Regulation as a strategic priority for 2010.
At the heart of this reform exercise is the Commission’s desire to remove the remaining obstacles to the free circulation of judgments, that is, its proposals to abolish exequatur (the procedure by which a court authorises enforcement of a foreign judgment), which the publishers wish to be kept maintained in cases of defamation.
On 2 December 2009, MEP Tadeusz Zwiefka(EPP/PL), the rapporteur who sits on the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee, published a working document on the review of the Brussels Regulation (December Report). MEP Zwiefka issued a report that was voted in September 2010 and brings balanced views on the topic of exequatur and call for proper safeguards.
On 14 December 2010, the Commission adopted a draft Brussels I Regulation in which the exequatur procedure was maintained for judgments ‘concerning non-contractual obligations arising out of violations of privacy and rights relating to personality, including (Article 37 (3) (a)). The proposal is now in the European Parliament, MEP Zwiefka being the rapporteur.