THE EXECUTION OF A DECISION RELATED TO MAINTENANCE OBLIGATION IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
In a decision dated February, 9, 2017 (Case C-283/16), the Court of Justice of the European Union, based on the 18 December 2008 Regulation Act, considered that: the maintenance creditor, who has obtained a decision in his favor in a Member State and who has a desire to obtain the execution of this decision in another Member State, can submit an application, directly, in front of the competent authority of this requested Member State, as a specialized jurisdiction, and cannot been asked to submit his demand to the requested Member State through the central authority of the Member State of execution.
This decision responses to the current debate regarding the conditions in which it can be asked execution of a decision given by another State regarding the maintenance obligation: does the plaintiff can directly make an application before the judge of a competent third State to the European Union or does he have to act through the central authority established by Article 49 of the Maintenance Regulation Act?
The Court considers that those two kinds of applications are valid and alternative which means that an application before the judge cannot be conditioned to a prior application before the central authority; the main purpose of the Regulation Act is to facilitate, as possible, the recovery of international maintenance claims.
Moreover, the decision dated February, 9, 2017 settles the matter of State obligations related to the effective application of this text. It states that Member States have to ensure the effectiveness of Community law granted under Article 41 of the Regulation Act by adapting, if it is necessary, their own procedural rules. If those rules were not modified, the judge in charge of the case would have to disregard those which are not conformed to Article 41 of the Regulation Act. Indeed, a judge of a European Union Member State, applying the provision of European Union law, has an obligation to ensure the effectiveness of those rules. The terms of the decision will help facilitate execution of a decision given by a Member State related to maintenance obligation in European Union.