Commission Rejects UK Application to Join Lugano Convention
5 June 2021
Pingen Kopie Dr. Anna Pingen

With Brexit and the end of the United Kingdom’s EU membership, the 2007 Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Lugano Convention) no longer applies to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). On 8 April 2020, the UK applied to accede to the Lugano Convention. On 4 May 2021, the Commission rejected ‒ in a communication to the European parliament and the council ‒ the entry of the UK to the Convention. The Convention had originally been concluded between the European Union, Denmark, and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states of Switzerland, Norway and Iceland to regulate international jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters.

In its communication, the Commission justified the rejection of the UK’s application by stating that the Lugano Convention is a flanking measure of the EU’s internal market and embedded in the EU-EFTA/EEA context. In relation to all other third countries, the EU promotes cooperation within the framework of the multilateral Hague Conventions. Due to the Brexit, the status of the UK has been derogated to that of a third country without a special link to the internal market. Any future cooperation between the UK and the EU in matters of civil judicial cooperation will therefore be regulated by the Hague Conventions.

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