Despite the consistent number of activities carried out by the EC and by Member States to improve the integration of Member States into a single e-Justice area, there is a lack of concrete actions for fostering the cross-border cooperation in the judicial auction area, especially in the asset sales process.
Rules governing judicial auctions across EU Member States are substantially different and often complicated. The sector is fragmented at Member State level, with a negative impact on competition, sale value and the time needed to conclude a sale. The assets to be sold are promoted on a government-managed website in only eleven Member States, available – in most cases - only in the local language. National portals are indexed by the web search engines with limited success, while third parties’ private portals (which might show outdated, incorrect, and not verified information) are better publicized.
The asset sales process in judicial enforcement procedures is addressed at EU level by simple informative pages in the e-Justice portal. The information provided is related to a basic terminology used in auctions, a list of the Member States currently providing a national on-line judicial auctions system, the kind of auctions handled and links to the national auction web portals (in any).
With regards to judicial auctions’ national systems, a survey assessing how judicial auctions were managed by each EU country highlighted that:
Most of existing official national portals are only in local language.
National portals neither provide uniform look and feel, nor uniform search criteria.
All national systems have a national scope: it is not possible for a user to search for transnational sales.
Third parties’ private (and unofficial) portals are usually better publicized in web search engines in most of the EU Member States. They might have information that is not always updated or correct or is lacking any sort of verification or certification from the official information owners.
These results served for the basis of the project’s collaboration and the setup of its objectives.