Commission goes ahead with 17 Member States to clarify property rights for Europe’s international couples
The European Commission adopted today proposals to clarify the property rights for international married couples or registered partnerships. These proposals will establish clear rules in cases of divorce or death and bring an end to parallel and possibly conflicting proceedings in various Member States, for instance on property or bank accounts. In short, it will bring more legal clarity for international couples. Since it was not possible to reach unanimity among 28 Member States on proposals originally brought forward in 2011, the Commission is now going ahead with 17 Member States willing to join this initiative through an enhanced cooperation.
These proposals will:
- clarify which national court is competent to help them manage their property or distribute it between them in case of divorce, separation or death (jurisdiction rules);
- clarify which law shall apply when the laws of several countries could potentially apply to the case (rules on applicable law);
- facilitate the recognition and enforcement of a judgment in one Member State on property matters given in another Member State.
As the 28 Member States failed to reach the required unanimity in the Council to adopt the initial proposals made in 2011, 17 Member States have requested enhanced cooperation to adopt this legislation. They represent 67% of EU population, and a majority of international couples who live in the European Union.
The non-participating Member States will continue to apply their national law (including their rules on private international law) to cross-border situations dealing with matrimonial property regimes and the property consequences of registered partnerships.
The adoption of the decision authorising enhanced cooperation requires a qualified majority of Member States within the Council and the consent of the European Parliament. The adoption of the two regulations implementing the enhanced cooperation requires unanimity by the 17 Member States participating in enhanced cooperation and the consultation of the European Parliament. The other 11 Member States are free to join the enhanced cooperation at any time.
- Proposal for an enhanced cooperation [here]
- Proposal for a regulation on matrimonial property regimes [here]
- Proposal for a regulation on patrimonial property [here]
- Press release [here]
Sobre las propuestas de la Comisión del año 2011 relativas a la competencia, la ley aplicable, el reconocimiento y la ejecución de resoluciones en materia de régimen patrimonial de los matrimonios y de las uniones registradas véase la entrada de este blog del día 16.3.2011.
Agradezco la información a Andrés Rodríguez Benot (Universidad Pablo de Olavide de Sevilla).