As an EU member, Poland recognizes and enforces decisions issued by EU courts in various civil and commercial matters. This principle also applies in debt collection in Poland which is treated under the Civil Code. In order to complete the debt collection procedure in Poland, creditors have several tools they can use. Below, our debt collection lawyers in Poland explain how court decisions issued by EU courts can be recognized and enforced. We can help in various debt collection cases and can also assist with the enforcement of local and EU court judgments in Poland.
|EU court decisions
|European Union (a) court decisions, such as those from the European Court of Justice (ECJ), are binding on all EU member states, including Poland.
Legal supremacy of EU law
|In Poland, EU law holds supremacy over national law. EU court decisions take precedence over conflicting national laws.
EU directives require transposition into Polish law to become enforceable in the country. Poland must implement them within the specified timeframe.
|Poland must ensure effective enforcement of EU court decisions and promptly comply with the judgments.
National courts in Poland can refer questions to the ECJ for preliminary rulings on the interpretation of EU law.
|Application in civil matters
EU court decisions in civil matters, such as contractual disputes and family law, are applicable and enforceable in Poland.
|Jurisdiction of the ECJ
The ECJ has jurisdiction over interpreting and applying EU law, ensuring its uniform application in all member states.
|Access to justice
Individuals and businesses in Poland can seek justice and claim their rights under EU law through EU court decisions.
EU court decisions on consumer protection apply in Poland, safeguarding consumers’ interests and rights.
|ECJ’s decisions on competition law impact antitrust cases in Poland, ensuring fair competition within the EU.
Workers in Poland are entitled to employment rights and protections established through EU court decisions and directives.
|European arrest warrant
Poland recognizes the European Arrest Warrant, allowing for the extradition of individuals wanted for serious crimes.
|Data protection and privacy
EU court decisions on data protection and privacy are binding in Poland, safeguarding individuals’ personal data.
EU court decisions simplify cross-border disputes resolution within the EU, benefiting individuals and businesses in Poland.
|Free movement of goods and services
|EU court decisions uphold the principle of free movement of goods and services, ensuring trade liberalization in Poland.
The EU Court of Justice (ECJ)
The Court of Justice of the European Union ( ECJ ) is an institution of the European Union that represents the highest judicial power in the Community and its judicial power is recognized in each Member State. The ECJ’s main mission is to interpret and apply the law of the European Union and it is characterized by its organic nature and authority beyond the legislative system of each Member State. Poland has been a Member State of the European Union since the 1st of May 2004, after the Accession Treaty was signed on the 16th of April 2003. Thus, any decision issued by the European Court of Justice is recognized and applied in Poland, following the simplified procedure available.
The nature of the European Court of Justice has been configured through treaties, thus having a permanent and compulsory character for all EU institutions and the Member States. The Court shall rule on cases brought before it. The most common cases brought before the ECJ are
Requests for a preliminary ruling – applied when the courts of the Member States ask the European Court of Justice on the interpretation of certain issues of EU law.
The national courts in each EU country are responsible for ensuring proper application of EU law in the country. However, there is a risk of different interpretations of EU law by the courts in different countries.
To prevent this, a procedure for preliminary rulings can be started. If the national court has doubts about the interpretation or validity of an act of EU law can – and sometimes must – seek the advice of the ECJ.
Action for failure to fulfill obligations – brought against the governments of the EU Member States in relation to non-compliance with EU law.
The Commission may institute such proceedings if believes that a Member State does not fulfill the obligations imposed on them by EU law. Such proceedings may also be initiated by other EU countries.
In both cases, the Court investigates the allegations and gives its judgment. If the Court finds the State guilty, this European authority obliges immediately to rectify the situation. When the Court concludes that the State has not complied with its judgment, it may impose a fine.
Action for annulment – applied for EU legislative acts that are incompatible with the EU Treaties or fundamental rights.
If any of the EU Member States, the Council, the Commission, or (under certain conditions) the Parliament believes that a particular EU law is illegal, may apply to the Court for its annulment.
Action for annulment may also be brought by private individuals who are asking the Court to invalidate a particular law when it has a negative impact reflected against the individual.
When the Court finds that the law has been adopted in the wrong way or does not have an adequate basis in the treaties, it can be annulled.
Failure to act – the Treaty obliges Parliament, the Council, and the Commission to make certain decisions in certain circumstances. When the European bodies do not fulfill these obligations, the Member States, other EU institutions, and (under certain conditions) individuals or companies can complain in the form of an official note on the failure to act.
Direct action – any person or company who has suffered damage because of the action or inaction of the EU institutions or their officials may bring before the Court a direct complaint.
If you need help in debt collection in Poland or assistance in having an EU court decision recognized and enforced, you can rely on our specialized lawyers.
The bodies acting within the EU Court of Justice
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is the supreme judicial authority within the European Union (EU). It plays a critical role in ensuring the consistent interpretation and application of EU law. The CJEU is composed of two main bodies:
- Court of Justice: This is the primary judicial institution of the CJEU, and it consists of one judge from each EU member state. These judges are appointed by common accord of the governments of the member states, and they serve renewable six-year terms. The Court of Justice ensures the uniform interpretation and application of EU law across all member states. That is why it also hears references for preliminary rulings from Polish courts and provides judgments on important legal questions.
- General Court: The General Court, which is also known as the Court of first instance, assists the Court of Justice in its duties. It deals mainly with cases brought by individuals, companies, or other entities against EU institutions, such as the European Commission. The General Court is made up of judges appointed by common accord of the member states, and they also serve renewable six-year terms. Their role is to review the legality of EU acts and decisions.
- In addition to these two main bodies, the CJEU also includes the Civil Service Tribunal, which deals with employment disputes within the EU institutions.
The composition of the CJEU reflects the EU’s commitment to ensuring a balance between the interests and legal traditions of its member states. The Court’s decisions have a profound impact on EU law and the legal systems of member states including Poland, making it a crucial institution for the functioning of the European Union. You are welcome to get in touch with our lawyers to learn about the status of recognition of a European Union court decision in Poland. Furthermore, if you are facing any debt recovery issues, consult with our Polish lawyers. They can help you with the collection of debt in Poland.
Cost related to EU Court
No court fees are charged for cases brought before the Court of Justice. However, it’s important to note that the Court does not cover the fees and expenses of lawyers authorized to practice in a member state who represent the parties. If a party cannot afford to cover the full or partial costs of the proceedings and legal representation, they have the option to request legal aid without the requirement to hire a lawyer. To do so, the party must submit an application supported by all the essential evidence demonstrating their need for legal aid. If you are interested in applying for legal aid to initiate your case in the Court of Justice, our lawyers can guide you through the procedure. Our lawyers can also guide you about the extent of recognition of a European Union court decision in Poland.
In addition to this, the services of our lawyers are at your disposal if you want to recover debt in Poland.
Polish courts seeking guidance from the Court of Justice
Normally, when there’s a case involving EU law, the Polish courts handle it. But if they have questions about how to interpret the law, they can ask the Court of Justice for help. If the Polish court is the final authority in the case, they must ask the Court for guidance. The Polish court sends questions about EU law to the Court, and this gets shared with everyone involved in the case and the EU institutions. They all have two months to provide their thoughts to the Court. So, if you are interested in learning about the process of recognition of a European Union court decision in Poland, please get in touch with our lawyers. You should also note that the Court of Justice can only review appeals that focus on legal issues in decisions from the General Court. These appeals do not stop the process. If the appeal is accepted and makes sense, the Court of Justice can either make a decision itself or send the case back to the General Court, which has to follow the decision made.
Moreover, if you are seeking legal assistance in any other matter which requires legal attention, please consult our lawyers. For instance, our Polish lawyers can help you if you facing issues regarding debt collection in Poland. You should note that the process of debt collection in Poland involves several stages. Initially, creditors typically attempt amicable debt collection, which includes sending reminders and notices with the help of our lawyers to the debtor in the hope of reaching an agreement. If these efforts fail, legal proceedings may be initiated by filing a lawsuit with the court to obtain a payment order or a judgment for the debt.
Legislation on recognition and enforcement of EU court decisions in Poland
The recognition and enforcement of a foreign court decision in Poland, including in debt collection, is based on local legislation, the EU regulations, and international treaties signed by Poland. The following laws and regulations can help with the successful recognition of EU and other foreign court orders in Poland:
- The Code of Civil Procedure through Article 758 on the Enforcement Procedure of Domestic and Foreign Judgments;
- Articles 795(1)-795(17) in the Civil Procedure Code on the Enforcement Procedure of Foreign Judgments;
- Article 1145 in the Civil Procedure Code which provides for the Recognition and Confirmation of Enforceability of Foreign Judgments;
- EU Regulation (EC) 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters;
- Regulation (EC) 805/2004 creating a European Enforcement Order for uncontested claims and the European order for payment procedure;
- the Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters of Lugano.
When seeking to have an EU judgment on a debt collection case in Poland recognized, it is best to address our lawyers who will be able to represent you in the court of law. We can also assist in domestic debt collection cases.
How are EU court orders recognized and enforced in Poland?
The procedure related to having an EU court decision recognized in Poland is not complicated, however, it must respect several steps and principles. The main regulation providing for such an action, including in debt collection in Poland, is Regulation (EU) 1215/2012. According to it, the EU judgment can be issued under one of the following forms:
- a decree;
- an order;
- a decision;
- a writ of execution.
The advantage of being an EU member state resides in the fact that once issued, the EU decision will be recognized and enforced in Poland without an enforceability order. This provides for a simpler and faster procedure when it comes to paperwork. The judgment issued by the EU court can also contain provisions on the assets that can be seized to recover a debt. Among these, real estate, various movable assets, money in bank accounts, and property rights are also acknowledged by Polish courts.
Our debt collection lawyers in Poland can explain the procedure under which an EU court decision can be recognized here.
The recognition and enforcement of EU court orders in Poland
When it comes to debt collection in Poland, it is important to note a few key aspects before a Polish court or even an EU court issues a decision. These are:
- Before any legal action is taken in a debt collection case, an amicable procedure for the recovery of the debt is required;
- If the case goes to court, the procedure can be completed in an expedited manner or like any other civil case;
- Both the claimant and the defendant have the right to appeal the case if the desired outcome has not been reached;
- An appeal with an EU court can also be filed (most of the time, the claimant files a petition with an EU court);
- The decision of the EU court will be recognized by the Polish court based on various documents filed by the claimant.
The documents that must be filed to have an EU court judgment recognized and enforced in Poland are the court decision or order, the agreement reached in court (if applicable), and a notarial deed that provides for the payment of the debt.
It is important to note that foreign citizens undergoing debt collection procedures in Poland need to appoint a legal resident representative to complete the procedure. Our debt collection lawyers in Poland can assist in such cases, so do not hesitate to contact us.