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22/07/14

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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

The Commission proposes clearer property rights for international couples

Jason Hutchens (Creative Commons)

The European Commission is proposing EU-wide rules to bring legal clarity to property rights for 16 million international couples. Two separate regulations – one for married couples and one for registered partnerships – will provide citizens with a clear set of rules allowing them to identify which court is competent to deal with their case and which law should apply to their assets.

Vice President Reding commented: "As more and more citizens fall in love, marry or create partnerships across borders, we need clear rules to decide how joint property is divided in case of death or divorce. Today's proposals will help bring legal clarity and ease the complicated process of dividing up joint assets no matter where they are located in Europe. This is good news for international couples and good news for their bank accounts: the new rules can save around €400 million a year in extra costs and between €2,000 and €3,000 per couple."