OPINION Legal Service - Hague Conventions are not acquis

21 February 2003

OPINION OF THE LEGAL SERVICE on a draft letter to Hans van Loon, Hague Conference

Date: 21 February 2003

(Letter From Legal Service to M. Tenreiro; Head of Unit – translation from French)

First, it is not possible to say (conform point 2 of the draft letter) that the Hague Conventions addressed in Annexe I are part of the acquis communautaire of the European Union. In fact, the accession treaties that are in process of finalisation do nowhere refer to those conventions and no other source of common law is quoted that could integrate them in whatever way into the acquis. The only conventions explicitely mentioned in the accession treaties, in the field of civil justice cooperation, are conventions based on article 293 of the TEU (ex-220) and those considered as inseparable of the realisation of the objectives of the Union (Hague Convention are not part of those).

Considering the previous, it is highly necessary to modify the acquis list that is on the website EUROPA. This list appears in fact to be inexact.