'A' (in an EU member state) contracts with 'B' (in another member state) who then breaches the contract.

  • Can 'A' sue 'B' under some harmonised community-wide procedure?
  • If not, in which state does 'A' bring his action (if not stated in the contract)?

2 Answers 2


For the first question, assuming EU legislation being applicable here, EU regulation No 1896/2006 of 12 December 2006 on creating a European order for payment procedure may be relevant, foreseeing a unified procedure for payment claims.

On the second one, the answer is likely to be found in EU regulation No 1215/2012 of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. This regulation has in its Article 4 a general rule (persons domiciled in a Member State shall [..] be sued in the courts of that Member State) but of course also several exceptions to this rule. A relevant exception here is contained in Article 7: In matters relating to a contract, the courts for the place of performance of the obligation in question are competent.


Not knowing EU law, I can only answer the second question (though I would guess that the answer to the first is yes).
The general rules of jurisdiction people to sue others in a range of courts, based on various questions. In this case, the plaintiff would be able to sue in the state where the contract was signed; the state in which the plaintiff lives (though he may have to get the defendant to be in the state, if only for a short time, before he can actually submit the lawsuit); the state in which the defendant lives; and, if the effects of the breach of contract somehow resonate in a third state, the plaintiff would generally be able to sue there too.
It's worth noting that as we become a more globalized world, and it becomes easier for people to participate in lawsuits even if they're taking place far away, judges value less complaints regarding the choice of venue, and tend to relax standards regarding where one has to file a lawsuit.

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