The European Union (EU) has granted a number of rights to its citizens such as the freedom of movement within its borders. These rights have changed the lives of many citizens and exchanges in the EU have increased significantly in the last few years. However, EU citizens cannot take full advantage of these rights if the right to access to justice is not facilitated. In that context, information must be available on costs of proceedings, for example if a citizen envisages going to court or wishes to enforce a court judgment.
Litigation costs in civil and commercial matters are governed by national legislation and costs are not harmonised at EU level. Thus, costs vary from one Member State to another.
To obtain detailed information on costs of proceedings in the Member States, as well as on several case studies carried out on behalf of the European Commission, please select one of the flags listed on the right hand side.
If you do not have sufficient financial resources to meet the costs of a court case you can apply for legal aid.
Additional information can be obtained from the attached study (available in English and French only) undertaken to identify the sources of costs of civil judicial proceedings in each Member State by:
The study provides a snapshot of the situation in the European Union at a precise moment in time - December 2007.
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The Commission is in the process of updating some of the content on this website in the light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.