An EU Regulation that allows for mutual recognition of protection measures across EU Member States came into force on 11th January 2015.
Regulation (EU) No 606/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council, subtitled ‘on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters’, was first adopted on 12th June 2013.
This is great news for victims of domestic violence: ‘protection measures’ are most commonly employed in those kinds of cases. Generally, they refer to non-molestation orders, occupation orders and other kinds of injunctions that are designed to protect individuals from harm at the hands of other individuals. It should make the free movement of victims among EU Member States much safer.
According to the Regulation, ’a protection measure ordered in one Member State (‘Member State of origin’) should be treated as if it had been ordered in the Member State where its recognition is sought (‘Member State addressed’)’. Its application is made more explicit in this paragraph:
This Regulation should apply to protection measures ordered with a view to protecting a person where there exist serious grounds for considering that that person’s life, physical or psychological integrity, personal liberty, security or sexual integrity is at risk, for example so as to prevent any form of gender-based violence or violence in close relationships such as physical violence, harassment, sexual aggression, stalking, intimidation or other forms of indirect coercion. It is important to underline that this Regulation applies to all victims, regardless of whether they are victims of gender-based violence.
It is also worth noting that any sanctions in the case of a violation of a protection measure will be left to the law of the Member State in which the violation occurred.
N.B. Just as with the Brussels II Regulations, which govern jurisdictional conflicts in matrimonial law (especially as regards issues of divorce, parental responsibility and child abduction in the EU), this new regulation does not apply to Denmark. Despite being an EU member state, Denmark has opted out of most Justice and Home Affairs matters.
Regulation (EU) No 606/2013 can be read in full here.