MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON
SPECIFIC ECONOMIC POLICY CONDITIONALITY
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON
SPECIFIC ECONOMIC POLICY CONDITIONALITY
3 May 2011, 13:40
[With regard to Council Regulation (EU) n° 407/2010 of 11 May 2010 establishing a European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism, and in particular Article 3(5) thereof, this Memorandum of Understanding details the general economic policy conditions as embedded in Council Implementing Decision […] of […] on granting Union financial assistance to Portugal. The quarterly disbursement of financial assistance from the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM)1 will be subject to quarterly reviews of conditionality for the duration of the programme. The first review will be carried out in the third quarter of 2011, and the 12-th and last review in the second quarter of 2014. Release of the instalments will be based on observance of quantitative performance criteria, respect for EU Council Decisions and Recommendations in the context of the excessive deficit procedure, and a positive evaluation of progress made with respect to policy criteria in the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) and in this Memorandum of Understanding on specific economic policy conditionality (MoU), which specifies the detailed criteria that will
be assessed for the successive reviews up to the end of the programme. The review taking place in any given quarter will assess compliance with the conditions to be met by the end of the previous quarter.
If targets are missed or expected to be missed, additional action will be taken. The authorities commit to consult with the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF on the adoption of policies that are not consistent with this Memorandum. They will also provide the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF with all information requested that is available to monitor progress during programme implementation and to track the economic and financial situation. Prior to the release of the instalments, the authorities shall provide a compliance report on the fulfilment of the conditionality.]
Improve the functioning of the judicial system, which is essential for the proper and fair functioning of the economy, through: (i) ensuring effective and timely enforcement of contracts and competition rules; (ii) increasing efficiency by restructuring the court system and adopting new court management models; (iii) reducing slowness of the system by eliminating backlog of courts cases and by facilitating out-of-court settlement mechanisms.
The Government will
7.1. Intensify implementation of proposed measures under the Judicial Reform M Conduct an audit of the backlog cases in order to better target measures [2011Q2]. Eliminate court backlogs by [2013Q2]
7.2. Based on the audit, better target existing measures and assess the need for additional measures to expeditethe resolution of the backlog [2011Q2]. Additional measures to be considered include, among others: (i) establishing separate Chambers or Teams (sole directed towards resolving the backlog, (ii) restructuring court record-keeping so that case can be taken off the books; (iii) merging similar small debt enforcement cases; strengthening and enforcing existing regulations allowing dormant cases to be removed the court register; (v) imposing additional costs and penalties againstnon-cooperative debtor in enforcement cases; (vi) introducing a staggered court fee structure for extended litigation
prompted by litigating parties without manifest cause; and (vii) assigning special court managers to manage the court agenda/hearings allowing judges to focus on the cases.
Management of courts
7.3. Expedite the implementation of the Judicial Reform Map creating 39 court units, with added management support for each unit, entirely financed through expenditure savings and gains of efficiency [2012Q4]. This measure is part of the rationalisation effort, in order to improve efficiency in the management of infrastructures and public services. Prepare a
roadmap on this reform identifying key quarterly milestones. [2011Q3]
7.4. Adopt new court management methods for two county courts, including L [2011 Q4]
7.5. Develop a personnel management plan that permits judicial specialisation and of court officials. [2011Q4]
Alternative dispute resolution for out-of-court settlement
7.6. The Government will present a Law on Arbitration end-September by 2011 and make arbitration for debt enforcement cases fully operational by end-February 2012 to facilitate resolution of backlog cases and out of court settlement.
7.7. Optimize the regime for Justices for the Peace to increase its capacity to handle sma claim cases.[2012 Q1]
7.8. Adopt measures to give priority to alternative dispute resolution enforcement cases in the courts. [2011 Q4]
Civil cases in the courts
7.9. Extent the new experimental civil procedure regime to4courts. [2011Q3]
7.10. Assess in a report whether the experimental civil procedure regime should be applied to allcourts. [2011Q4]
7.11. Make specialized courts on Competition and on Intellectual Property Rights fully operational. [2012Q1]
7.12. Assess the need for separate Chambers within the Commercial Courts with specialized judges for insolvency cases. [2011Q4]
7.13. The Government will present to Parliament a draft law to review the Code of Civil Procedure and prepare a proposal identifying the key areas fo r efinement, including reducing the administrative burdens for judges, consolidatinglegislation for all aspects of all cases before the court, giving the judge powers to expedite cases, and enforcing statutory deadlines
to expedite the resolution of cases in the courts. [2011Q4]
7.14. Adopt specific measures for an orderly and efficiency resolution of outstanding tax cases including (also covered under revenue administration):
i. taking necessary steps to implement the Tax Arbitration Law (to enable an effective out of court resolution of tax claims); [2011 Q3]
ii. assessing measures to expedite the resolution of tax cases such as: i) creatin special procedure for high value cases; ii) establishing criteria for prioritizing; iii) extending statutory interests for the entire the court proceeding; iv) imposing a special statutory interest payment on late compliance with a court decision.[2011Q4]
Budget and allocation or resources
7.15. Standardize court fees and introduce special court fees for certain categorie cases o and procedures with the aim of boosting revenue and disincentivizing spurious civil litigation. [2011Q3]
7.16. Develop an annual workplan on the allocation of resources based on court by court performance data, which will be published annually on the internet .
7.17. Conduct a workload/staffing assessment for the six pilot courts under the Judicial Reform Map, as well as for the specialist courts. [2012 Q1]
7.18. Publish quarterly reports on recovery rates, duration and costs of corporate insolvency and tax cases, publishing the first report by [2011Q3]