The reinforced cooperation agreement between seventeen Member States was adopted on the 2nd of March. The purpose of this agreement is the clarification of the rules to apply to property regimes for both international couples who are married, and those who are registered as domestic partners. This agreement has been favourably received by the Council of Notaries of the European Union, issuing a statement highlighting the existence of legal uncertainty experienced by some couples living in different countries throughout their life together.

The aim of this proposal is to establish clear standards for cases of separation and divorce in order to end the procedures in parallel between several member states, in order to achieve greater legal certainty for these couples. Thus, additional costs can be avoided when distributing wealth among multinational partners, and avoiding conflicts that might generate financial costs.

It is intended to clarify the rules of competition for property management of couples in case of separation, divorce or death; as well as the rules on applicable law and also to facilitate the recognition and enforcement of the resolution on property issues between Member States.

The enhanced cooperation mechanism will allow a group of nine States, at least, to apply provisions if all of the Member States fail to reach an agreement on this matter.

The Member States which established the agreement are: Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Croatia, Spain, France, Slovenia, Italy, Portugal, Malta, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Austria and Finland, being the one with most number of international partners within the EU. In addition, other countries retain the right to join the scheme if they wished so in the future.

The non-participating member states will continue to apply national law in situations affecting the economic systems and economic consequences of de facto international unions.

If you are are a multinational couple, and want to know how to proceed in case of divorce, separation or death of one of the partners, let DAEMI ZABALZA & ASSOCIATES lawyers advise you, who after studying your particular case, will provide the most suitable solution for your specific situation.