Civil judicial cooperation and agreements with non-EU countries
Regulation (EC) No 662/2009 — negotiation and conclusion of agreements between EU and non-EU countries in regard to the law applicable to contractual and non-contractual obligations
It aims at ensuring coherence in the EU’s external action in an area now falling within the exclusive competence of the EU.
It establishes a procedure of authorisation for an EU country to amend an existing agreement or –– to negotiate and conclude a new agreement with a non-EU country related to specific matters of applicable law in contractual and non-contractual obligations*. The procedure is subject to strict rules and has to be considered exceptional.
The regulation applies to agreements concerning particular matters falling, entirely or partly, within the scope of Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I) and Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations (Rome II).
Notification: where an EU country intends to enter into negotiations in order to amend an existing agreement or to conclude a new agreement falling within the scope of the regulation, it must notify the European Commission in writing of its intention as soon as possible before the envisaged opening of formal negotiations.
Confidentiality: the Commission has to treat the information communicated by the EU country as confidential, if so requested.
the Commission must:firstly, check that no relevant negotiating mandate for concluding an EU-level agreement with the non-EU country concerned is envisaged within the next 24 months;
if not, verify that there is a genuine specific interest of the EU country for the agreement and that the envisaged agreement would not undermine the effectiveness of EU law and the object and purpose of the EU external relations policy; and
if necessary, request further information.
Authorisation of negotiations:
if the conditions are met, the Commission authorises the EU country to open formal negotiations on the agreement. The Commission may propose negotiating guidelines as well as the inclusion of particular clauses in the envisaged agreement.
Participation: the Commission may participate as an observer in the negotiations, and otherwise should be kept informed of progress and results.
Clauses in the agreement: where is is authorised, the agreement will in any case have to stipulate
that the agreement is fully or partially terminated in the event of a subsequent agreement between the EU and the same non-EU country on the same subject matter; and
that a subsequent agreement between the EU and the non-EU country on the same subject matter direct replace the relevant clauses of the agreement.
Authorisation of conclusion: before signing the agreement, the EU country must notify the outcome of the negotiations and submit the text of the agreement to the Commission, for authorisation of conclusion after verifying that the conditions are met.
Refusal: the regulation sets out the procedure for and consequences of the Commission’s refusal to authorise negotiations or the conclusion of the agreement.
Review and expiry
The regulation expires 3 years after the submission by the Commission — no earlier than 7 July 2017 — of a report on its application. In that report, the Commission must indicate whether it recommends that this regulation be replaced at its expiry by a new regulation.
Any negotiation underway at the date of expiry may continue.
It has applied since 20 August 2009.
This regulation should be seen in the context of the EU’s exclusive external competence for these areas of civil law. Before the adoption of the relevant internal EU Regulations (Rome I and Rome II), the EU countries themselves concluded agreements with non-EU countries in this area.
As part of the EU approach to judicial cooperation and agreements with non-EU countries in civil matters, this regulation comes along with Regulation (EC) No 664/2009 concerning jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments and decisions in matrimonial matters, parental responsibility and maintenance obligations which entered into force the same day and is based on a similar procedure.
Regulation (EC) No 662/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a procedure for the negotiation and conclusion of agreements between Member States and third countries on particular matters concerning the law applicable to contractual and non-contractual obligations (OJ L 200, 31.7.2009, pp. 25-30)
Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 662/2009 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Council Regulation (EC) No 664/2009 of 7 July 2009 establishing a procedure for the negotiation and conclusion of agreements between Member States and third countries concerning jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments and decisions in matrimonial matters, matters of parental responsibility and matters relating to maintenance obligations, and the law applicable to matters relating to maintenance obligations (OJ L 200, 31.7.2009, pp. 46-51)
Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I) (OJ L 177, 4.7.2008, pp. 6-16)
Regulation (EC) No 864/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations (Rome II) (OJ L 199, 31.7.2007, pp. 40-49)