EU-UK cooperation in civil and commercial matters: Commission publishes Communication on the UK’s application to join the 2007 Lugano Convention

The European Commission has today published a Communication on the United Kingdom’s application to join the Lugano Convention, which is an international convention that, amongst other things, extends the benefits of the EU’s framework on the recognition and enforcement of civil and commercial judgments to the EFTA States. These countries participate, at least partly, in the EU’s internal market, comprising the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons. Given the UK’s decision to leave the EU, its Single Market and Customs Union, as well as its decision to have a more distant relationship with the EU than EEA-EFTA countries, the Commission takes the view that the EU should not give its consent to the UK’s request to join the Convention. As for all other third countries, the EU consistently strives for cooperation in the framework of the multilateral Hague Conventions. The Commission has conducted a thorough assessment of the UK’s request and has discussed it with Member States. The European Commission considers that the right framework for future cooperation between the European Union and the United Kingdom in the field of civil and commercial matters is provided by the multilateral Hague Conventions instead of the Lugano Convention. The European Parliament and the Council now have an opportunity to express their views before the Commission informs the Lugano Depositary accordingly. More details can be found in today’s Communication.