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Key EU terms: L

22 February 2010
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 24 February 2010

A list of key EU legal terminology: L


Late payments

Delayed payments from a debtor to a lender. Since a quarter of insolvency cases in the EU are associated with late payments, a dedicated Council proposal is under development.

Law enforcement

Ensuring that people within a given jurisdiction adhere to the laws of that jurisdiction. Activities at EU level are concerned with linking and coordinating the national agencies responsible for law enforcement.

Legal aid

Financial assistance available to people who are unable to meet the full cost of legal proceedings. Moves are underway to create minimum standards for legal aid in cross-border cases.

Legal residents

People living within a jurisdiction who have fulfilled legal requirements necessary to live in that jurisdiction.

Light weapons

In 1999, the EU and United States agreed an action plan on small arms and light weapons, such as hand guns.


Any person or body whose function is to administer or liquidate assets of which the debtor has been divested or to supervise the administration of his or her affairs.


The process of initiating or contesting a case of law. EU activities facilitate litigation throughout the Union through development of standards for legal aid, cooperation between national judiciary, exchange of judicial documents, and mutual recognition of decisions.

Local and regional authorities

Composed of the local elected representatives closest to the citizen. EU citizens may stand for or vote in local elections in the country in which they live, even if they are not nationals of that State.

Long-term resident

A national of a country outside the EU who has been living within the EU for a prescribed period. The EU is working to clarify and promote the rights of long-term residents.

Lugano Convention

This 1988 convention extends the rules of the Brussels Convention on the jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters to States belonging to the European Free Trade Association.

Source: European Commission - Justice and Home Affairs

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