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In June 2016, the European Union adopted a Regulation concerning the property regimes of international marriages aimed at helping couples manage their property on a daily basis and to divide it in case of divorce or of the death of one member. The Regulation was adopted under the procedure of enhanced cooperation by 18 EU countries: Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Luxembourg, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland and Cyprus. Other EU countries can join the Regulation any time (in such case the country will also have to join the Regulation concerning the property consequences of registered partnerships).
The Regulation provides international marriages with legal certainty and reduces the costs of legal proceedings as couples will know which EU country’s courts should deal with matters concerning their property and which national law should apply to resolve such matters. The Regulation also facilitates the recognition and enforcement of decisions on property matters given in another EU country. As a couple's property must be divided in case of divorce or death, the Regulation facilitates the application of EU rules on cross-border divorces and successions. The Regulation is applicable from 29 January 2019.
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