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Cross-border recovery of small debts 17/04/2015 Plans to improve a simplified procedure for low-value cross-border claims have been backed by MEPs

Cross-border recovery of small debts

Plans to improve and broaden the use of a simplified procedure for low-value cross-border claims to recover money from abroad, so as to cut costs and paperwork for both consumers and businesses, were backed by the European Parliamentary legal affairs committee on Thursday.

The European Small Claims Procedure, in use since 2009, is a simplified procedure based on standard forms for recovering money owed by someone in another EU country.

The proposed changes would make the procedure available for more cases, cap court fees and encourage the use of electronic communications, such as emails and video-conferences.

“With the rise in cross-border trade in the EU, the need to provide effective redress mechanisms to support economic activity has become increasingly vital. I am pleased with the European Commission's proposal to make the procedure for the investigation of cross-border claims simple and easy to use for citizens, regardless of where they live or what language they speak, in addition to increasing the threshold to €10,000, allowing both individuals and SMEs to use this method of legal redress,” said the lead MEP, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (S&D, PL).

The rapporteur received a mandate to start negotiations with the Council of the EU to seek agreement at first reading.

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