Today, the European Commission has published the tenth edition of the 2022 EU Justice Scoreboard, an established annual overview providing comparative data on the efficiency, quality and independence of justice systems in the Member States. For the first time, this year’s Scoreboard also includes data on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the efficiency of justice systems, as well as regarding accessibility to justice for persons with disabilities and with a strengthened business dimension.
Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, said: “The EU Justice Scoreboard provides invaluable insights into our justice systems and helps us place the focus where it matters most: ensuring that the rule of law is protected across the European Union. The fact that since last year the public perception of judicial independence has decreased in about half of Member States is concerning and shows that we all need to act to restore trust of the public in the judicial system.”
Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, added: “The EU Justice Scoreboard celebrates its tenth edition as a high-appreciated analysis tool for Europe’s justice community. Over the last decade, we have seen the Scoreboard evolve from an overview of basic indicators into a comprehensive collection of high-quality information. It helps us identify both opportunities for improvement and address risks to our justice systems. Objective and high-quality data are a key basis for our efforts to uphold the rule of law and the independence of justice.”
Key findings of the 2022 Scoreboard:
- Room for improvement in the digitalisation of justice systems: While the 2021 edition already took stock of how advanced judicial authorities are in the digital transformation, the 2022 Scoreboard also takes into account the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several Member States adopted new measures to ensure the regular functioning of courts, while also guaranteeing the continued and easy access to justice for all. Yet, findings of the 2022 edition show the need for Member States to accelerate modernisation reforms in this area, as notable room for improvement remains in some Member States.
- Varying degrees of accessibility to justice for persons with disabilities: For the first time, the 2022 EU Justice Scoreboard includes data on the arrangements in place to support persons with disabilities in accessing justice on an equal basis. Although all Member States have at least some arrangements in place (such as procedural accommodations), only half of Member States offer also specific formats, such as Braille or sign language upon request.
- Challenges persist on perception of judicial independence:Since 2016, the perception of the general public had improved in 17 Member States. However, since last year, the public perception of judicial independence has decreased in 14 Member States. In a few Member States, the level of perceived independence remains particularly low.
- Guarantees in place to boost investor confidence: Regarding access to justice and its impact on investor confidence, the business environment and functioning of the single market, the 2022 Scoreboard also included data on administrative efficiency, legal safeguards in relation to administrative decisions and confidence in investment protection. Findings show that almost all Member States have measures in place for companies to receive financial compensation for losses caused by administrative decisions or inaction, and courts may suspend the enforcement of administrative decisions upon request.
The information contained in the EU Justice Scoreboard contributes to the monitoring carried out within the framework of the European Rule of Law Mechanism, and the findings will feed into the Commission’s 2022 Rule of Law Report. The 2022 EU Justice Scoreboard has been further developed to address the need for additional comparative information (such as a new figure on national security checks for judges), identified during the preparation of the 2021 Rule of Law Report. The Scoreboard’s data are also used for the monitoring of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans.
Launched in 2013, the EU Justice Scoreboard is used by the Commission to monitor justice reforms in Member States and is one of the tools in the EU’s Rule of Law toolbox. The Scoreboard focuses on the three main elements of an effective justice system:
- Efficiency: indicators on the length of proceedings, clearance rate and number of pending cases;
- Quality: indicators on accessibility (such as legal aid and court fees), training, budget, human resources and digitalisation;
- Independence: indicators on perceived judicial independence among the general public and companies and on safeguards relating to judges and the functioning of national prosecution services.
As in previous editions, the 2022 edition presents data from two Eurobarometer surveys on how the public and companies perceive judicial independence in each Member State.
The findings of the 2022 EU Justice Scoreboard have been taken into account in the country-specific assessment carried out within the 2022 European Semester, as well as in the evaluation of the Member States’ Resilience and Recovery Plans, outlining investment and reform measures to be funded through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). In 2021, the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy (which sets out the strategic guidance for the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, ensuring that the new growth agenda is built on a green, digital and sustainable recovery) reiterates the link between effective justice systems and the business environment in Member States. Well-functioning and fully independent justice systems have a positive impact on investment decisions and on the willingness of all actors to launch investment projects.
Under the 2021-2027 Justice programme, the EU is making over €300 million available for the further development of a European area of justice. It will also help improve the effectiveness of national justice systems and strengthen the rule of law, democracy and protection of fundamental rights, including by ensuring effective access to justice for citizens and businesses. The programme funds activities which cover training for judges and other legal practitioners, mutual learning, judicial cooperation and awareness-raising.
On 23/04/2022 a provisional political agreement has been reached on the Digital Services Act (DSA) between the Council and the European Parliament.
The provisional agreement is subject to approval by the Council and the European Parliament.
From the Council’s side, the provisional political agreement is subject to approval by the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper), before going through the formal steps of the adoption procedure.
Just as in the case of purchase directly from the organiser of such events, there is no right of withdrawal in the case of purchase from an intermediary if the economic risk linked to the exercise of that right would fall on the organiser.
Due to the restrictions adopted by the German authorities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a concert that was due to take place on 24 March 2020 in Brunswick (Germany) had to be cancelled.
A consumer who had purchased tickets for that concert online from the provider of ticket agency services CTS Eventim was not satisfied with the voucher that CTS Eventim subsequently sent her, which had been issued by the concert organiser and corresponded to the purchase price, but
requests CTS Eventim to reimburse her for the voucher as well as ancillary costs.
The District Court, Bremen (Germany), hearing an action brought by the consumer, asks whether the consumer can withdraw from the contract concluded with CTS Eventim under the Consumer Rights Directive. 1. According to the directive, a consumer who concludes a distance contract with a trader generally has, for a certain period, 2 a right to withdraw from the contract without giving any reason.
However, the directive excludes a right of withdrawal inter alia in the case of a provision of services related to leisure activities if the contract provides for a specific date of performance.
By that exclusion, the directive aims to protect the organisers of leisure activities such as cultural or sporting events against the risk associated with the setting aside of certain available places which they may find difficult to allocate if the right of withdrawal were exercised.
Given that CTS Eventim was not itself the organiser of the concert in question, but sold the tickets in its name, albeit on behalf of the organiser, the District Court, Bremen wishes to know whether that exception applies in such a case.
By its judgment delivered today, the Court answers in the affirmative, provided that the economic risk linked to the exercise of that right of withdrawal would fall on the organiser of the leisure activities concerned.
The European Consumer Centres Network issued a warning over a scam using European Consumer Centre (ECC) employees’ names and logos. The email states that you have fallen victim to a fraudulent broker and offers help. These emails are fake and were not sent by an ECC-Net office. If you received a suspicious email, read this information and contact the ECC of your country of residence.
What to look out for
Cybercriminals use phishing emails to ‘fish’ for sensitive information and steal money. A recent fake email states the recipient has fallen victim to a fraudulent broker based in Cyprus. The scammer claims to help retrieve the lost investment through this email and asks the recipient to provide details of a bank transaction. Furthermore, it may also include a fake ‘contract’, which states that you are liable to pay a sum of money.
This scam uses names and personal details of employees working with the European Consumer Centre in Cyprus, including ECC Net and European Union logos. ECC Cyprus took immediate action and filed a report with the Cyprus police to investigate these emails.
- A European Consumer Centre will never ask you for payment. All ECC services are entirely free of charge.
- A European Consumer Centre will never send you unsolicited emails offering services. An ECC Centre will only contact you if you have already contacted the ECC.
- If you are currently receiving help from ECC Malta, you will notice that only employees from ECC Malta made contact with you and no other ECC employee from any other countries in the network.
Actions you can take
If you have received a suspicious email, do not respond, click on any link, or open any attachment. Kindly contact us on telephone number +356 21221901 or by email at email@example.com, and we will inform you whether an email is genuine or not. In doing so, you are also helping us to warn other consumers about specific scams.