European Regulations 2016/1103 on matrimonial property regimes and 2016/1104 on the property consequences of registered partnerships are now applicable as part of an enhanced cooperation procedure currently involving 18 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Thanks to these two Regulations, the conflict of laws rules are now unified between the Member States participating in the enhanced cooperation to determine the applicable law and the competent court which will decide on the division of assets in the event of separation of the couple or death. For example, for a Franco-German couple living in Brussels, the provisions of the regulations will allow them to choose between the law of their habitual residence (Belgian law) or that of their nationality (French or German law), thus providing them with more predictability and therefore legal certainty.
Mr Pierre-Luc Vogel, President of the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE), said: “The application of these two regulations is excellent news for European citizens who have close links with several Member States, for family or professional reasons. It is also a challenge for which the notaries of Europe are now ready. We now call on other Member States to join the enhanced cooperation procedure.”
In partnership with the European Union, the CNUE has invested in the training of several thousand European notaries. Via the platform of the European Notarial Network (www.enn-rne.eu), practical tools are also available to notaries in order to simplify the processing of their cross-border cases: a network of national interlocutors, handbooks explaining the regulations, legal databases, bilingual forms, a videoconferencing system, etc. Finally, for the general public, the “Couples in Europe” website (www.couples-europe.eu) provides citizens with information on the law of the Member States in the language of their choice. Launched at the end of 2012 with the European Commission’s support, it has now been visited nearly 1 million times, demonstrating that citizens have a significant need to be informed about their legal situation.
The CNUE in brief:
The Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) is an official body representing the notarial profession in dealings with the European institutions. Speaking for the profession, it expresses the joint decisions of its members to the institutions of the European Union. The CNUE includes 22 notarial organisations in the European Union, representing over 40,000 notaries and 200,000 staff. The European notariats are represented in the CNUE by the presidents of the national notariats. The CNUE operates under the authority of a President, the CNUE’s spokesperson, who has tenure for one year.