This concluding chapter sets forth to answer the questions posed in the introductory chapter to this book. The book's aim was to explore whether there are any differences in the way procedural autonomy is conceptualised in the Member States, whether procedural autonomy is more limited in some countries than others; whether some doctrines, principles or pieces pose more problems for national civil procedure than others, and whether some type of issues are more easily integrated to national law directly. It is too soon to give definite answers to these questions, but the contributions in this book bring us a step further. There appear to be both similarities and differences among the Member States. In terms of EU law engendering challenges, the authors congregate to some extent around the obligation for courts to apply EU consumer law in their own motion. Additionally, the sectoral nature of EU civil procedure law (i.e. that it applies only to a specific category of cases) is identified as a problematic issue by several authors.
A discussion of features of EU law generating dissonance with national civil procedure constitutes a common core for the ten contributions in this book. Another shared element can be found in weaknesses in approaches to and implementation of EU law at the national level. Thus, this chapter will concentrate on these issues rather than ‘ranking’ countries or individual pieces of EU law. Section 2 will establish whether there are any differences to the conception of procedural autonomy. Then, a potential clash of procedural cultures will be discussed. Thereafter Section 4 will examine how differences between the EU approach and national approaches to civil procedural law are a source of tension and explain how the quality of EU law impacts national law. Section 5 will explore challenges that could be attributed to suboptimal implementation and awareness of EU law. Section 6 discusses the role of multispeed integration and the final section (7) questions whether procedural autonomy is still a useful concept.
THE CONCEPTION OF PROCEDURAL AUTONOMY
The introductory chapter traced the genesis to ECJ case law addressing situations in the absence of EU procedural law, impelling national courts to apply the principles of effectiveness and equivalence, as well as the principle of efficient judicial protection. In the meantime, an extensive and variegated body of EU civil procedure law has emerged.