Tag Archive for: Matrimonial Property Regimes

Swiss Institute of Comparative Law: 24e Journée de DIP on International Family Law

On Friday, 16th March 2012, the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law (ISDC) will host the 24th Journée de droit international privé, organised in collaboration with the University of Lausanne (Center of Comparative Law, European Law and International Law – CDCEI). The conference will analyse the latest developments in international family law, under a Swiss and an EU perspective : “Derniers développements suisses et européens en droit international privé de la famille”. Here’s the programme:

Mot de bienvenue par les organisateurs (09h00 – 09h10):

  • Christina Schmid (Directrice à l’Institut suisse de droit comparé);
  • Andrea Bonomi (Directeur CDCEI de l’Université de Lausanne).

Première Session (09h10 – 11h00)
Le divorce et ses conséquences:

  • La révision du droit international privé du divorce et de la  prévoyance professionnelle, Gian Paolo Romano (Professeur, Université de Genève);
  • Le droit applicable en matière de divorce selon le règlement  européen Rome III, Cristina Gonzalez Beilfuss (Professeure, Université de Barcelone);
  • Le droit applicable aux conséquences patrimoniales du divorce  dans les Etats de l’Union européenne, Andrea Bonomi (Professeur, Université de Lausanne)
  • Discussion et questions.

11h00 – 11h30 Café offert par l’Association des Alumni et Amis de l’ISDC (AiSDC)

Deuxième Session (11h30 – 13h00)
Le mariage et les actes d’état civil:

  • IPR Aspekte der Zwangsheiraten, Lukas Bopp (Dr. iur., Avocat à Bâle);
  • Le droit du nom entre réformes législatives et évolution du contexte européen, Michel Montini (Avocat à Neuchâtel, Maître de conférence à l’Université de Fribourg);
  • Discussion et questions.

13h00 – 14h30 Déjeuner

Troisième Session (14h30 – 16h30)
La protection des mineurs:

  • Nouvelles de La Haye : la Sixième réunion de la Commission  spéciale sur les Conventions de 1980 et 1996, Joëlle Küng (Collaboratrice juridique, Conférence de La Haye  de droit international privé);
  • La jurisprudence relative au règlement européen  Bruxelles II bis, Bea Verschraegen (Professeure, Université de Vienne);
  • La réforme du règlement européen Bruxelles II bis, Daria Solenik (Collaboratrice scientifique à l’ISDC);
  • Discussion et questions.

The conference will be held in French and German (no translation is provided). For further information (including fees) see the conference’s programme and the registration form.

(Many thanks to Prof. Andrea Bonomi)

Clearer Patrimonial Regimes for International Couples: Joint Conference of the European Commission and CNUE

On Monday 17 October 2011 the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) is organising, jointly with the EU Commission, a conference in Brussels on the proposals for two regulations on property rights of “international” married couples and registered partnerships: “Clearer Patrimonial Regimes for International Couples”. A dedicated section of the CNUE website has been set up for the event, for further information and registration (there are still some places left to attend the conference). Here’s the programme (interpretation will be available in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Romanian and Spanish):

9.30 – 9.40 Opening: Rudolf Kaindl, CNUE President

9.40 – 10.20 Keynote speeches:

  • Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission
  • Frank Molitor, President of the Luxembourg Chamber of Notaries

10.20 – 10.40 Proposals for Regulations on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes and regarding the property consequences of registered partnerships: Salla Saastamoinen, Head of Unit, DG Justice, European Commission

11.00 – 12.40 Panel discussion: Session 1 – The applicable law

Moderator: Prof. Katharina Boele-Woelki, University of Utrecht


  • Prof. Paul Lagarde, University of Paris I “Panthéon Sorbonne”
  • Prof. Brigitta Lurger, University of Graz
  • Prof. Barbara Reinhartz, University of Amsterdam
  • Franco Salerno Cardillo, Civil Law Notary in Palermo
  • Alexandra Thein, Member of the European Parliament
  • Richard Frimston, STEP, Solicitor and Notary Public in London

14.00 – 15-15 Panel discussion: Session 2 – The competent court

Moderator: Sjef van Erp, Maastricht University, Deputy-Justice, Court of Appeal, ‘s-Hertogenbosch


  • Ulf Bergquist, Lawyer in Stockholm
  • Prof. Patrick Wautelet, University of Liège
  • Katarzyna Lis, Judge, Polish Ministry of Justice

15.15 – 16.30 Panel discussion: Session 3 – Recognition and enforcement in cross-border cases

Moderator: Pedro Carrión García de Parada, Chair of the CNUE’s Family Law Working Group


  • Matthias Neumayr, Judge at the Austrian Supreme Court
  • Prof. Philippe De Page, Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Prof. Dieter Martiny, European University Viadrina
  • Edmond Jacoby, Civil Law Notary in Forbach

16.30 – 17.00 Information session – More information and services for European citizens

  • The patrimonial property regimes website project, Harald Steinwendter, University of Graz
  • The European Directory of Notaries, Thomas Diehn, Federal Council of the German Notariat

17.00 – 17.30 Closing speech: Paraskevi Michou, Director, DG Justice, European Commission.


Commission’s Proposals On Matrimonial Property Regimes and Property Consequences of Registered Partnerships

As announced in the past months, on 16 March 2011 the Commission presented the proposals for two regulations on property rights of “international” married couples and registered partnerships:

  • Proposal for a Council Regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes, COM(2011) 126 of 16 March 2011;
  • Proposal for a Council Regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions regarding the property consequences of registered partnerships, COM(2011) 127 of 16 March 2011.

The proposals are accompanied by a Communication from the Commission “Bringing legal clarity to property rights for international couples” –  COM(2011) 125 of 16 March 2011 – which describes the difficulties faced by international couples in the current framework of EU legislation and national rules of the 27 Member States (see also the figures presented in the press release and the related FAQs).

The origin of the initiative dates back to the early days of the “communitarisation” of the conflict of laws. According to the Explanatory Memorandum to doc. COM(2011) 126:

The adoption of European legislation on matrimonial property regimes was among the priorities identified in the 1998 Vienna Action Plan. The programme on mutual recognition of decisions in civil and commercial matters adopted by the Council on 30 November 2001 provided for the drafting of an instrument on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of decisions as regards ‘rights in property arising out of a matrimonial relationship and the property consequences of the separation of an unmarried couple’. The Hague programme, which was adopted by the European Council on 4 and 5 November 2004, set the implementation of the mutual recognition programme as a top priority and called on the Commission to submit a Green Paper on ‘the conflict of laws in matters concerning matrimonial property regimes, including the question of jurisdiction and mutual recognition’, and stressed the need to adopt legislation by 2011.

A thorough research on the matter was previously carried in 2003 at an academic level, on behalf of the Commission, by the TMC Asser Instituut and the Département de droit international of the Catholic University of Leuven (UCL) (the whole study  – Final Report in French and Country Reports on the legislation of Member States – can be downloaded from the Documentation Centre of the DG Justice, Freedom and Security). The Green Paper on conflict of laws in matters concerning matrimonial property regimes, including the question of jurisdiction and mutual recognition, was published on 17 July 2006, and received nearly forty replies in the public consultation launched by the Commission.

The 2009 Stockholm Programme came back to the need of European legislation in the field, stating that mutual recognition should be extended to matrimonial property regimes and the property consequences of the separation of unmarried couples. The need was further stressed in the ‘EU Citizenship Report 2010: Dismantling the obstacles to EU citizens’ rights‘ (p. 5 ff.), adopted on 27 October 2010, where the Commission announced for 2011 an official legislative initiative. The drafting of the proposals is summarised as follows in the Explanatory memorandum:

A group of experts, PRM/III, was set up by the Commission to draw up the proposal. The group was made up of experts representing the range of professions concerned and the different European legal traditions; it met five times between 2008 and 2010. The Commission also held a public hearing on 28 September 2009 involving some hundred participants; the debates confirmed the need for an EU instrument for matrimonial property regimes that covered in particular applicable law, jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of decisions. A meeting with national experts was held on 23 March 2010 to discuss the thrust of the proposal being drafted.
Finally, the Commission conducted a joint impact study on the proposals for Regulations on matrimonial property regimes and the property consequences of registered partnerships. [see doc. n. SEC(2011) 327 fin. and SEC(2011)328 fin. of 16 March 2011]

Pursuant to Art. 81(3) TFEU the proposed regulations, as “measures concerning family law with cross-border implications”, are subject to a special legislative procedure: the Council shall act unanimously, after consulting the European Parliament. The second subparagraph of Art. 81(3), however, provides a “passerelle-clause”, under which “the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may adopt a decision determining those aspects of family law with cross-border implications which may be the subject of acts adopted by the ordinary legislative procedure”. The third subparagraph of the provision grants to national Parliaments of the Member States a veto power, to be exercised within six months of the notification of the Commission’s proposal to enact the “passerelle”.

EP Workshop on Civil Justice: “How to facilitate the life of European families and citizens?”

On 30 November 2010 the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs will host in Brussels an interparliamentary workshop on Civil Justice, organized in collaboration with the national parliaments of the Member States: How to facilitate the life of European families and citizens?. The conference is structured in 4 parts, and can be watched live in video streaming on the EP’s website:

Morning Sessions (h 9.30 – 13.00):

  • Opening
  • I. Family Law: Latest Developments and the Way Forward;
  • II. Cross-Border Successions.

Afternoon Sessions (h 15 – 18.30):

  • III. Parental Responsibility and the Protection Of Children;
  • IV. Civil Status;
  • Conclusions.

Each session will include speakers from the EP, national parliaments and the Commission, as well as the academic world and practitioners: a detailed draft programme is available here.

Here’s a presentation of the event:

Removing the legal and administrative barriers that citizens face when they start a family life in a Member State other than their own will be at the centre of the Workshop on Civil Justice which will take place in the European Parliament on 30 November.

The Workshop, which will be attended by EU and national parlamentarians, will be composed of four thematic sessions. The first two sessions will present the “state of play” in the drafting of new legal instruments in the field of European family law and the law of succession.

The third session will focus on child protection in cross-border situations. The topics of parental responsibility, including the controversial issue of the recognition of surrogacy agreements, as well as of international adoption will be addressed therein. Legal practitioners and academics will report on the current situation as it stands in several Member States.

The last session will provide an overview of the current difficulties faced by citizens in proving their civil status in cross-border situations. In this regard, a number of actions ranging from the suppression of the legalisation formalities of civil status acts to the interconnection of civil status registers will be presented. The challenging idea of creating a European “civil status” document will also be discussed.

Finally, the Workshop will  also include speeches from Melchior Wathelet, Belgian State Secretary for Family Policy, on the achievements of the Belgian Presidency in the field of family law and Viviane Reding, European Commission (EC) Vice-President, on the actions planned by the EC in this field.