Judgments rendered in the EU Member States may lose their enforceability within the EU when they are based on serious breaches of the mutual trust that the states have granted each other with the accession process.
Basically, the Court ruled that the English courts had indirectly limited access to justice by imposing sanctions on defendants for initiating/pursuing proceedings. The defendants were thus discouraged from pursuing another lawsuit, which they had already commenced before the Greek courts, as plaintiffs in this case.
The situation actually stems from an old conflict between the parties that was finally settled amicably through a settlement. This established, among other things, that all disputes would be settled by the UK courts.
Subsequently, one of the parties brought another action in Greece which was also tangentially related to the earlier disputes that had been settled. In order to block these steps, the opposing party also brought an action in England which resulted in a denial of the Greek jurisdiction and an award of damages for the losses suffered by the plaintiff in England as a result of the proceedings in Greece which had not yet been settled.
The judgment and orders issued by the UK court were considered to have a “quasi anti-suit injunctions” character, indirectly influencing the continuation of proceedings in another Member State and affecting the principles of mutual jurisdiction of the European rules.
In conclusion, the recognition and enforcement of the UK judgment was considered to be potentially incompatible with the public policy of Greece, the purpose of which was to suspend the pending proceedings and ultimately to block the applicants’ right of access to justice.