Procedure : 2016/0059(CNS)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0209/2016

Texts tabled :

A8-0209/2016

Debates :

PV 22/06/2016 - 21
CRE 22/06/2016 - 21

Votes :

PV 23/06/2016 - 8.9
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0288

REPORT     *
PDF 443kWORD 268k
16.6.2016
PE 580.495v02-00 A8-0209/2016

on the proposal for a Council regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes

(COM(2016)0106 – C8‑0127/2016 – 2016/0059(CNS))

Committee on Legal Affairs

Rapporteur: Jean-Marie Cavada

AMENDMENTS
DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a Council regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes

(COM(2016)0106 – C8‑0127/2016 – 2016/0059(CNS))

(Special legislative procedure – consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2016)0106),

–  having regard to Article 81(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8‑0127/2016),

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0209/2016),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the Commission proposal;

4.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Amendment    1

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – point e a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ea)  'Member State' means a Member State which participates in enhanced cooperation on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions on the property regimes of international couples, by virtue of Decision 2016/.../EU, or by virtue of a decision adopted in accordance with the second or third subparagraph of Article 331(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

Justification

Introducing a new definition of Member State for the purpose of this Regulation is important, so as to cover only Member States participating in the Matrimonial Property Regulation, in line with the definition included in Article 3(1) of Council Regulation (EU) No 1259/2010 of 20 December 2010 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation (Rome III).


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

I. Procedure

This proposal for a Council Regulation on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes is the second on this topic. Negotiations between the Member States were held up, as any agreement on family law matters needs to be unanimous, and this proposal is now returning to Parliament in the form of enhanced cooperation. Readers are invited to consult the specific recommendation on this topic for the procedural aspects of enhanced cooperation.

A parallel proposal also exists on jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions regarding the property consequences of registered partnerships. The 2016 proposal for a regulation is not identical to the Commission’s initial proposal from 2011 – on the contrary, it incorporates many modifications proposed by Parliament in 2013 and thus reflects the text to which 23 Member States were prepared to agree at the end of 2015.

II. Scope

The regulation will be a very useful instrument for international couples in the EU. It covers jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes. However, its scope does not cover such matters as the legal capacity of the spouses, the existence, validity or recognition of a marriage, maintenance obligations or succession to the estate of a deceased spouse. The Member States’ autonomy in family law matters is thus preserved. Neither does the regulation affect the Member States’ substantive law on matrimonial property systems. Parliament’s demands have therefore been heeded.

III. Jurisdiction

The regulation clearly establishes which court has jurisdiction to rule in proceedings on matters relating to matrimonial property regimes. Where an action regarding the matrimonial property regime is linked to succession to the estate of a deceased spouse, or to divorce, legal separation or marriage annulment proceedings, the court having jurisdiction for the application of the rules specific to these fields will also have jurisdiction to rule on the matrimonial property regime. In other cases, the regulation provides a list of criteria for ruling on jurisdiction, while allowing couples, in certain cases, the option of choosing a different court. Where a Member State does not recognise the marriage in question, that Member State’s courts are given the discretion to confer jurisdiction on the courts of another Member State which does recognise the marriage.

IV. Applicable law

The section on applicable law is universally applicable, in other words it also permits the law of a third state to apply. The major advance in this connection is the principle of the unity of the applicable law, whereby the law applicable to the matrimonial property regime applies to all property held under that regime, wherever it may be located. This puts an end to the dismemberment (dépeçage) of the law applicable to the couple’s matrimonial property regime. The regulation allows a choice of the law applicable to the matrimonial property regime, but this choice is limited by the requirement of being a national of, or habitually resident in, the state whose law is chosen. In the absence of choice, there are criteria enabling the applicable law to be unequivocally determined. Clarifications requested by Parliament at an earlier stage have been inserted.

V. Recognition, enforceability and enforcement of decisions

In the fields of recognition, enforceability and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes, the current text is largely inspired by the European Parliament’s position in 2013. In these areas it includes the very precise provisions of Regulation No 650/2012 (on cross-border successions). Accordingly, while recognition is automatic, a ruling is not enforceable until a declaration of its enforceability in the Member State concerned is obtained. This is due to the sensitive nature of rulings on family law, and also corresponds to the solution in force for cross-border successions. However, a declaration of enforceability may only be refused in certain very specific cases, including where it would be contrary to public policy.

VI. Authentic instruments and court settlements

The regulation also permits, under certain circumstances, the circulation and enforceability of authentic acts, which was something Parliament had called for. There are similar provisions relating to court settlements.

VII. Information to the persons concerned

Finally, the regulation establishes means for communicating the necessary basic legal information to international couples.

VIII. Conclusion

In conclusion, the rapporteur notes that this proposal for a regulation on matrimonial property regimes is clearly in the interest of the EU and of its international couples. It will make it possible to put an end to many cases of confusion and legal uncertainty. The current proposal, the second on this topic, has incorporated a large proportion of the amendments proposed earlier by Parliament. Your rapporteur therefore proposes that Parliament issue a favourable opinion on this proposal, without any substantive amendments at this stage.


PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

Jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regimes

References

COM(2016)0106 – C8-0127/2016 – 2016/0059(CNS)

Date of consulting Parliament

30.3.2016

 

 

 

Committee responsible

       Date announced in plenary

JURI

11.4.2016

 

 

 

Committees asked for opinions

       Date announced in plenary

LIBE

11.4.2016

FEMM

11.4.2016

 

 

Not delivering opinions

       Date of decision

LIBE

14.4.2016

FEMM

19.4.2016

 

 

Rapporteurs

       Date appointed

Jean-Marie Cavada

15.3.2016

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

20.4.2016

23.5.2016

 

 

Date adopted

14.6.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

16

3

2

Members present for the final vote

Max Andersson, Joëlle Bergeron, Marie-Christine Boutonnet, Jean-Marie Cavada, Therese Comodini Cachia, Mady Delvaux, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Enrico Gasbarra, Dietmar Köster, Gilles Lebreton, António Marinho e Pinto, Emil Radev, Julia Reda, Evelyn Regner, Pavel Svoboda, Axel Voss, Tadeusz Zwiefka

Substitutes present for the final vote

Daniel Buda, Angel Dzhambazki, Evelyne Gebhardt, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski

Date tabled

16.6.2016

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