The European Commission has published yesterday its plan to deliver justice, freedom and security to citizens in the next four years.
Here are 3 of the 10 concrete actions included in the plan which will be of interest for readers of this blog:
4. More legal certainty for international marriages
Following an EU proposal to allow international couples to choose which country’s law applies to their divorce (IP/10/347, MEMO/10/100), the Commission will make a similar proposal this year on which law will apply when it comes to the division of couples’ property during these proceedings (legislative proposal, 2010).
5. Less administrative burdens for citizens
Europeans who want to get married, adopt a child or change their civil status should not face additional administrative burdens if they are outside their home country. For example, a Finnish woman who falls in love with a man from the UK would have to submit a certificate of no impediment from the UK to get married. The UK does not provide such documents. To avoid these kinds of situations, the Commission will propose a law for the mutual recognition of certain civil status documents (legislative proposal, 2013).
6. Helping businesses to operate cross-border
If companies are to invest and operate cross-border, they need to have trust in Europe’s Single Market – especially in today’s economic context. At present, companies only recover 37% of cross-border debts while more than 60% of cross-border debts cannot be enforced. To address this problem and stimulate the incentive to do business cross-border, the Commission will propose legislation on a European “attachment” of bank accounts. This measure will ensure that money that is owed does not disappear (legislative proposal, 2010).
Legal certainty is crucial for motivating businesses to do commerce across borders. If you know the rules of the country where you would like to do business, you will be much more willing to offer your services/goods rather than studying different 27 regimes. These 27 contractual regimes will remain. The Commission is preparing an additional and optional contract law instrument – something similar to the US Uniform Commercial Code. Companies could then choose to apply this instrument to their contractual relations – no matter in which EU country they have their business (Communication, 2010).
The full text of the Communication of the Commission can be found here.
Thanks to Lea Salvini for the tip-off