Legal Advice to International Couples in Europe Conference in Trier (Germany)

30.11.2017

From the 30 November–1 December, Members of the Working Group and of the Advisory Committee of the Empowering European Families: Towards More Party Autonomy in European Family and Succession Law Project, as well as experts in family and private international law, presented and discussed the outcomes of two years’ firm and dedicated work on the occasion of the Legal Advice to International Couples in Europe Conference at the Academy of European Law (ERA).

The first day of the Conference focused on marriages and registered partnerships – three sets of model agreements for both statuses as well as a checklist for legal advisers on the usage of those agreements were presented and discussed. The second day of the Conference was mainly dedicated to the difficulties which cross-border informal couples face. To overcome these problems, the Working Group has since drafted a toolkit for informal couple relationships within the European Union, which was presented at the event.

The Conference drew experts from various quarters in Europe who expressed high appreciation for the results that had been produced, particularly as they could help legal professionals to advise their clients, burdened with cross-borders complications, in more informed manners. The Conference was concluded by an expert panel discussion on awareness-raising strategies and efficient ways of encouraging the use of party autonomy. ELI President Christiane Wendehorst, who is also one of the Project’s coordinators, emphasised that ‘making parties conscious of the legal consequences their cross-border relationship might have before a legal dispute arises is a very crucial part of our work’. Having reached its final stage, the Empowering European Families Team will now focus on disseminating its results further and making them more accessible. The results are expected to be published next year.

This Project and Conference are sponsored by

University of Vienna, Utrecht University, European Law Institute, Co-funded by the Justice Programme of the European Union