Empowering European Families

Empowering European Families (EEF) is a research project led jointly by Katharina Boele-Woelki (Bucerius Law School and Utrecht University), Wendy Schrama (Utrecht University) and Christiane Wendehorst (University of Vienna). It is co-financed by an action grant under the Justice Programme of the European Union and conducted in cooperation with the European Law Institute (ELI) as well as with the support of the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE).

For want of a uniform European regime in the field of marriage and partnership law couples in the EU are still facing a number of problems when one or both partners live in a country other than their country of origin, when changing the country of their habitual residence, or when buying or selling property abroad. To a certain extent, the existing problems could be overcome by way of early choice of court and choice of law, and by agreeing in advance on important economic issues pertaining to a couple’s legal relationship. EEF aims at removing obstacles to free movement for couples within the EU and at improving certainty and predictability within a couple's legal relationships by way of

  • Comparative research on the ambit of party autonomy in family and succession law,
  • Development of a set of information sheets and model templates to facilitate the use of party autonomy, and
  • A strategy for awareness-raising among couples in the EU and their legal advisers. 



Workstream 3 in its final stage

Working group members of the project “Empowering European Families” met in Utrecht from 22nd – 24th October 2017 for the eleventh time to deliberate...


EEF presented at the ERA CONERENCE in Trier from 30th November – 1st December 2017

The preliminary results of the EEF project, comprising its three workstreams will be presented and discussed at an ELI-ERA Conference in Trier....


The European Law Institute’s (ELI) Annual Conference took place from 6-8 August in Vienna and hosted a variety of high-ranking professionals from a...


Final Agenda for the Public Workshop

The ELI project on Empowering European Families (EEF) has finished its second workstream on model agreements concerning property, family home,...


Announcement of the Public Workshop for Workstream 2

The second public workshop of the project, Empowering European Families, will take place on Tuesday, 20th June 2017 in Utrecht. The aim is to present...


Workstream 3 in progress

The 2nd Working Group meeting of Workstream 3 is just around the corner. The experts will meet from 14th – 16th May 2017 in Vienna, to discuss the...