The French Presidency of the Council of the European Union organised on Monday, 6 October, a colloquium on “the movement of authentic acts within the European judicial area”. The Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) welcomes the opportunity given to European institutions to launch a joint reflection and discussion with a view to enabling each citizen to enforce in another European Union State, without any additional procedure, the provisions set out in an authentic act executed by a civil law notary in one of the Member States.
The European civil law notaries who participated actively in the day’s work share with Mrs Rachida Dati, the French Minister of Justice, the idea that this “reflection on the movement of authentic acts will help to advance the freedom to come and go within the European Union”. Moreover, they did not fail to note that, according to her, “evoking authentic acts means talking about everyone’s everyday life, it means taking stock of what remains to be integrated in Europe”.
Europe’s civil law notaries, as stakeholders in the construction of judicial Europe, wish to underscore that while physical frontiers have come down, far too often judicial frontiers still continue to exist, requiring complex and long procedures which vary from one Member State to another for the enforcement of agreements executed by civil law notaries as law officials.
Thus, in the framework of the debates during this colloquium, Mr Juan Bolás Alfonso, President of the CNUE, presented an update on the work carried out by Europe’s civil law notaries on this subject and put forward his proposals for a proposed European authentic act. To date, a sectoral approach has been favoured, involving different instruments and types of procedures. However, the absence of harmonisation may be prejudicial for European citizens and economic actors, for whom improving the movement of authentic acts would assure the increased certainty of transactions. That is why, for the sake of simplicity and efficiency, the CNUE is in favour of a more horizontal approach, leading to the mutual recognition of authentic acts in Europe. The expected benefits of a Community initiative along these lines would be threefold for citizens and businesses: such a system would save time, cut costs and simplify procedures.
The CNUE welcomes the fact that the exchanges during this colloquium enabled representatives of the European Parliament and the European Commission, including among others Mr Giuseppe Gargani, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs, Mr Manuel Medina Ortega, a Spanish MEP and rapporteur on this subject to the Parliament and Mr Francisco Fonseca Morillo, Director of the Commission’s DG JFS, to debate the basis on which such a system of mutual recognition could be implemented.
Finally, the CNUE notes with satisfaction that in closing the day’s work, Mr Jacques Barrot, European Commissioner with responsibility for Justice, Freedom and Security, once again declared his support for integrating such a provision in the Community’s body of legislation, as he had done in Warsaw, at the Congress of European Union Civil Law Notaries when he had announced on 11 September last that a “Green Paper” on this subject would be launched shortly.