Rome III: Agreement in Council on the Text of the New Rules on Divorce and Legal Separation


The JHA Council, in its meeting held on 3 December 2010 in Brussels, agreed on the text (doc. n. 17045/10) of the Rome III regulation implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation (see our previous post here).

As stated in the Council’s press release (doc. n. 17151/10),

The new rules will apply to all participating member states as of mid-2012. Other EU member states which are not yet ready but wish to join this pioneer group at a later stage will be able to do so. The agreement also constitutes the implementation of the first enhanced cooperation in the history of the EU.

For its adoption two more procedural steps are necessary:  The European Parliament is expected to adopt an opinion on the file in its December plenary session.  The Council will then adopt the new rules without discussion, most likely at the Environment Council on 20 December 2010.

Upon the adoption, the regulation will be accompanied by declarations by the Council (on forum necessitatis), and by the Commission, Malta and Finland on a new controversial art. 7a (“Differences in national law”): see Annexes I, II, III and IV to doc. n. 17046/10.

The position of the European Parliament, under examination in the JURI Committee, can be found in the Draft report prepared by rapporteur Tadeusz Zwiefka (see, in particular, the Explanatory Statement) and additional amendments.