From today the 21 European notarial associations will have a new Council president to represent them in the European Union. In 2008 the presidency of this EC body, which is rotated annually, will be undertaken by Spanish civil law notary Mr Juan Bolás Alfonso. This will be Bolás’s second term as president of the CNUE (Council of the Notariats of the European Union), since he was formerly president in 2002.
In the aim of creating a single judicial area, the European notariat – represented by the CNUE – will cooperate in 2008 with the European institutions on several projects, such as :
- The mutual recognition of authentic instruments, a document which will be recognized in any of the 21 European countries with a Latin notarial system.
- The creation of the European Network Registers of Wills.
- The harmonisation of EC family law in matters such as divorce and inheritance, collaborating in the development of regulations on obligations with respect to maintenance, divorce and separation (Rome III).
- Streamlining the European mortgage loan market. To this end, the CNUE will support the European Commission’s publication of its White Paper on Mortgage Loans.
- Full implementation of the European Notarial Network, which will permit coordinated cooperation of the 21 notariats in order to resolve cross-border legal cases.
Similarly, different CNUE Work Groups will advise EC institutions on the preparation of legislative proposals, such as the statutes of the project for a European Private Company.
The European Notariat
The CNUE is an official body based in Brussels, which represents over 40,000 European civil law notaries in their dealings with EC institutions. 21 notarial associations in EU Member States are members of the CNUE: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
The notarial system is in force not only in countries in the European Union (with the exception of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, etc.) and Latin America, but also in countries in Eastern Europe – since the fall of the Berlin wall – and in others such as China, Japan and many African states. The new countries which have adopted a democratic system and a market economy prefer to implement a legal system based on written legal codes rather than the common law system whereby the law is not embodied in writing but created by judges on the basis of custom. The greater certainty and lower costs of the notarial system have conferred it such an ability to expand that it is now implemented in over 80 countries and caters to 70 per cent of the world population.