Proposal for enhanced cooperation for matrimonial property regimes and registered partnerships

posted in: EU news

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On 2 March 2016, the European Commission published a proposal for a decision authorising enhanced cooperation in addition to the two proposals for regulations on matrimonial property regimes and the property consequences of registered partnerships. These proposals follow the blockage observed on 3 December 2015 at the Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA), particularly owing to opposition from Poland and Hungary.

Given the priority granted by the Dutch Presidency of the EU to this subject, it was decided to accelerate the adoption of the two texts as far as possible. The Commission is also counting on the quick support of the European Parliament, which must give its approval for the enhanced cooperation procedure and only a non-binding opinion on the content of the texts of the proposed regulations. The Dutch Presidency of the EU would like both proposals for regulations to be adopted at the JHA Council on 9 and 10 June.

The European Commission decided to link participation in both future regulations, by proposing only one enhanced cooperation procedure. This implies that the Member States will not be able to participate in one regulation and not the other, even in the future. At this stage, the Commission has received official requests to participate in the enhanced cooperation from 17 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

In a press release, the CNUE confirmed its support for the implementation of enhanced cooperation for these two proposals for regulations, 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 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.

Moreover, it 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.