"Empowering European Families" presented at the 2016 Annual Conference of the European Law Institute (ELI)


The EEF project was presented and discussed within a panel of experts at the ELI's annual conference, which was held from 7 to 9 September 2016 in Ferrara. Christiane Wendehorst, one of the three project coordinators, who chaired the panel session on the EEF project in the afternoon of 8 September, stressed the importance of raising awareness among international families in the EU concerning the legal intricacies of cross-border family relationships and the instruments in place that allow for some degree of party autonomy.

Christiane Wendehorst, who is also the Vice-President of the European Law Institute, presented first results that had been prepared by the EEF Working Group on the basis of thorough comparative research in all the Member States of the EU. "Reports of national correspondents were evaluated and valuable information was gained in order to realise the first steps towards improving legal certainty and predictability within families".


The panellists, Maria Vilar-Badia, who is Legislative Officer for civil justice policy at the Directorate General for Justice of the European Commission in Brussels and a top expert in family law, Elena Bargelli, who is currently Professor of Private Law at the University of Pisa (Italy) and chair of the Members Consultative Committee (MCC) of the project within the ELI, and Richard Frimston, Partner and Head of the Russell-Cooke LLP Private Client Group in London with special expertise in private international law as well as the law of succession, discussed the first draft set of information sheets and model templates prepared by the EEF Working Group. The drafts were equally put up for discussion by a critical audience, including judges, notaries, lawyers and academics from a wide variety of jurisdictions,  providing extremely valuable feedback.