Servus! ICANEPO in Vienna

The first ICANEPO study visit was the easiest one – logistic-wise. At least for the majority of visitors. In Austria, the District Court for Commercial Matters in Vienna (Bezirksgericht für Handelssachen) is the central competent court for the European Payment Order in Austria. Also, it happens to be situated in the neighbouring building of the Austrian Federal Computing Center where the main development of ICANEPO is taking place. As a result, it was quite logical to do the first study visit there, on 28 June 2023.

The Austrian Federal Computing Center was co-developing and is operating the currently used Case Management System for the European Payment Order. Therefore, good connections were established already and maintained throughout the years between the technical staff of the Computing Center and the staff of the District Court.

The welcome of the court president – Ms Martina Arneitz – was therefore as expected very warm and welcoming. She and her team shared a lot of information about the handling of the EPO in Austria and some of the main paint points. One of them being the service of documents in other European Member States, especially in cases concerning online gambling where the official headquater of such a company is just a small office or maybe even just a letter box.

ICANEPO has also learned that – in comparison with later study visits – Austria has a quite significant number of cases each year – reaching up to more than 10.000 per year. Another interesting fact was that Austrian lawyers already use electronic communication with e-CODEX when dealing with EPO cases – not only with the Austrian court but also with the central competent court in Germany.

Finally, ICANEPO had the chance to go to a court office an see in real life how the paper files are being handled and how this synchronises with the electronic case management system and the electronic communication system.

In summary, Austria is quite advanced when it comes to the European Payment Order. The availability of a Case Management System, the electronic communication, the significant amount of cases per year and the experienced users at the court and law offices have turned the European Payment Order into a success story in Austria.

Justiztower, Vienna – Home of the District Court for Commercial Matters (and other courts)