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Brussels, 2 March 2016

Notaries of Europe Welcome Proposals for Matrimonial Property Regimes and Registered Partnerships

The Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) welcomes the proposal for enhanced cooperation presented today by the European Commission concerning the two proposals for regulations on matrimonial property regimes and the property consequences of registered partnerships.

Me Paolo Pasqualis, president du CNUE, declares :

These proposals are going in the right direction: towards improving legal certainty for couples in Europe. Furthermore, they will provide a useful complement to the regulation on international successions, which has been applicable since 17 August 2015. We therefore hope for the quick adoption of these instruments in the context of enhanced cooperation involving as many Member States as possible.

Notaries are among the first legal advisors of citizens and their families in Europe. They observe the increasing number of multinational couples and couples who may live in several countries during their life together. Yet these couples often face legal uncertainty and additional costs when they have to share their assets in the event of separation or death. Currently, it can be very difficult for them to know which courts have jurisdiction and which legislation applies to their situation and property. The rules are very different from one country to the next and sometimes generate conflicts, which are a source of financial cost.

This is why the CNUE supports the proposals by the Commission, whose aim is to unify the conflict-of-law rules at European level. For example, for a Franco-German couple living in Brussels, the provisions in the regulations will enable them to choose in advance the law of their habitual residence (Belgian law) or that of their nationality (French or German law), providing them with more predictability and therefore legal certainty.

Furthermore, the CNUE recalls that, thanks to the Couples in Europe website , EU citizens can access information on the laws relating to matrimonial property regimes and partnerships of all the countries in the European Union in the language of their choice. Launched at the end of 2012 with the European Commission’s support, the website has been visited more than 500,000 times, proving that citizens have a considerable need for information on their legal situation.

CNUE in brief

The Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) is an official body representing the notarial profession in dealings with 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 UnioThe 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.

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