In 2012, Regulation (EC) 44/2001 on the jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters underwent some considerable changes resulting in Regulation (EU) 1215/2012 (hereinafter: BIa Regulation or Regulation). The European Commission had identified a number of gaps and difficulties arising in the application of the Regulation. Yet the alterations were not as extensive as the Commission suggested in its 2010 Proposal.
The relationship between the Regulation and other private international law instruments may appear problematic, in particular considering the lack of consistency in regulating certain aspects of civil procedure on the European level.
The ongoing Europeanisation of private international law in civil and commercial matters has proven to be, in fact, a drawn-out process. The inconsistencies among the EU private international law instruments may cause practical difficulties in cross-border legal relations, particularly due to the lack of information from legal practitioners on their functioning and effectiveness. Furthermore, the abundant case law of the Court of Justice of the EU highlights the difficulties encountered by the national courts of EU Member States in the interpretation and application of the private international law instruments.
Uncertainty in the unification of such instruments may also affect the level of protection of the procedural position for certain ‘weak’ parties, such as consumers.