You can read a fairly sensible description of the European Small Claim and the European Payment Order here.
http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cour ... x725_e.pdf
The Small Claim thingy is not all that exciting. But the EPO has potential. No 2,000 Euro limit. Consider this:-
Darren Dim has just defaulted on the final payment for his ski lodge in Boringhovel, Bulgaria. The sum contractually due is 40,000 Euro. Dim lives in Widnes, Merseyside. He has decided to walk away from the deal.
Developer Bogdan Ripov whizzes his application for an EPO off to Runcorn County Court. His evidence in a few lines is that Dim owes him 40,000 Euro and there is a penalty of 20,000 Euro, making 60k plus interest.
A clerk at the Runcorn County Court makes the EPO against Dim. It is served by depositing it in Dim's letter box, where it is savaged by his twin Rottweilers, who have not been fed for some time. Dim would not have noticed anyway because a few slabs of Stella have taken their toll. He is, after all, depressed about losing the money he has thus far paid for the ski lodge.
He therefore does not know he has only 30 days to lodge a statement of opposition. He does not do so, for obvious reasons. The EPO becomes absolute and unenforceable.
14 days later Ripov has an interim charging order from the Runcorn County Court against Dim's Widnes property. He can apply to enforce it by sale at his leisure.
There has been no hearing, no lawyers were involved, no judge has ever applied his mind to the case.
It would have been a real tragedy if he hadn't lived in Widnes
Ripov is impressed and starts leafing through his other files...
PS I quite like Widnes actually, crucible of the organic chemistry revolution, the waters of the Mersey gently lapping on the mud, the sweeping arch of the Runcorn bridge, the fragrance of the bone rendering plant, the obliging natives who will remove your car for no charge
PPS The moral of this story is not to have Rottweilers, or to feed them if you have, or to go to live in Denmark where they didn't accept this particular example of the EU jackboot.