Twenty years after the Amsterdam Treaty brought judicial cooperation in civil matters within the scope of European Union, the establishment of an area of justice and fundamental rights based on mutual trust remains one of the Commission’s ten key policy priorities. In 1999 the European Council’s special meeting held in Tampere, Finland laid down the first detailed and visionary political foundation for building a European area of Justice. Today, the Tampere Programme has been completed but the Union legislator went even further in building bridges between Member States’ jurisdictions. There is... now a very substantial body of Union law in this area but judicial cooperation in civil matters remains a growing EU policy field. Since the last edition of this Compendium, the scope of Union legislation has expanded to cover core areas of enforcement in the form of the European Account Preservation Order, to the presentation of public documents and – for Member States taking part in enhanced cooperation – to property rights concerning marriage and registered partnerships. In addition, the Small Claims and the Insolvency Regulations have been revised. Common European rules on jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments, acceptance of authentic instruments, or on applicable law and judicial cooperation have been put in place in civil, commercial and family law to ensure that citizens and companies can claim their rights in any Member State. These rules have to be efficiently applied by all courts and legal practitioners. On that basis, all actors involved in the proper application of EU civil justice instruments, namely judges, lawyers, notaries and bailiffs will contribute to developing a common European legal culture. A complete collection of the EU law in force is an indispensable tool to enable legal practitioners to deal with cross-border disputes or non-contentious proceedings. This new edition of the Compendium is such an up-to-date collection and should benefit all those practitioners as well as the citizens on whose behalf and in whose interest they act.