At its General Assembly in Tallinn on 29 and 30 June 2012, the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) decided to set up a system of cooperation among European notaries in the area of real estate transactions, for the benefit of all citizens finding themselves in need of advice during a cross-border purchase. The aim is also to facilitate the circulation of authentic instruments, with complete legal certainty, by simplifying electronic cross-border processes. At the General Assembly the CNUE also reiterated its satisfaction at the adoption of the EU regulation on international successions by the Member States on 8 June 2012, and is now calling for the swift adoption of the two proposed EU regulations on matrimonial property regimes and the property consequences of registered partnerships.
These legislative initiatives and the Notaries of Europe's project on cross-border transactions all aim to respond to a trend in European society: citizens nowadays are increasingly mobile. There is a growing rise in the number of families comprising citizens of different EU countries or of both EU and non-EU countries. There are currently around 16 million international couples in the EU. The European institutions and the Notaries of Europe are therefore working together to provide European citizens with more legal certainty in their cross-border situations, with the objective of increasingly freeing them from hindrances.
In light of this, informing the general public and raising its awareness of these new European legal instruments in order to guarantee efficient access to the law is a priority for the Notaries of Europe. That is why they developed the Successions in Europe website (www.successions-europe.eu), which provides citizens with information sheets in 23 languages on succession law in the different EU countries. The site has met with great success, with over 500,000 visitors in the two years since it was launched. Following this success, the Notaries of Europe are preparing to announce the launch of the Couples in Europe website on 8 November 2012, which will publish legal information on marital property regimes and the property consequences of registered partnerships, also in 23 languages.
At the General Assembly in Tallinn, the President of the CNUE, Tilman Götte, said, “In a Europe that is increasingly open and with citizens moving beyond their borders more and more, the Notaries of Europe want to respond to families' need for legal certainty. Civil justice has long been seen as an issue of secondary importance in European integration, instead of being given its rightful place as a cornerstone. There is free movement of goods and capital, and also of people, but their rights often stopped at the border. We are pleased to see that the mentality has changed. Civil justice is now a priority for the European Union and we are calling on it to increase its efforts, in the interest of every citizen."