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EU And Switzerland Strengthen Civil And Commercial Cooperation

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

05 November 2007


The new Lugano Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters between the the European Commission and certain member states of the European Free Trade Area, which includes Switzerland, was signed on October 30.

The new agreement aims to align the Convention provisions with the present European Community legal framework. As a result of it, the rules for determining jurisdiction of the courts will now be similar in the EU and the EFTA States concerned. Moreover, the judgments delivered by EU national courts and those of EFTA Member States will be more easily recognised and enforced.

The other EFTA member states party to the new agreement, which replaces the 1988 Lugano Convention on the same subject, include Iceland and Norway.

Vice-President Franco Frattini, Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security commented: "This new convention shows the mutual trust we have in each other's judicial systems and allows for more flexible provisions between Members States and Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland, aligned with current EC practice. This will smooth procedures in civil and commercial matters, enhance legal security and consequently facilitate the life of citizens involved in those proceedings."

Frattini added: "This is a landmark step in the development of Community external competence."


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