The EU has decided on 24 April 2023 to establish treaty relations with Ukraine under the Hague Judgments Convention. Ukraine acceded to the Convention on 29 August 2022 by submitting its ratification to the depositary, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From that moment, the other Signatories have 12 months to object against the establishment of treaty relations with the new member (Article 29 of the Convention).
The EU Council decided not to do so. According to the Press Release, the Council considers that
there are no fundamental obstacles, such as related to the independence and efficiency of the judiciary, the fight against corruption or the respect of fundamental rights, which could prevent the EU from entering into treaty relations with Ukraine.
The Swedish Minister for Justice, Gunnar Strömmer, said on the occasion that “[w]ith this decision to recognise and enforce each other’s judgments the ties between the EU and Ukraine will only become stronger.”
The Judgments Convention will enter into force for all Signatories on 1 September 2023. Although the EU theoretically still has time until the 29 August 2022 to notify the depositary of its objections to establish relations with Ukraine under the Convention, this is unlikely after the decision by the Council. Courts in the EU will therefore soon be obliged under the Convention to recognise and enforce Ukrainian judgments in civil or commercial matters, and vice versa.