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David Hodson on International Family Law: Enhanced cooperation on EU divorces receives green light

Date:7 JUN 2010

David HodsonOn Friday 4 June 2010 the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council of the EU authorised the first "enhanced cooperation" in the history of the European Union. It allows 14 member states to go it alone without the support of the entire EU member states. It adopts harmonised rules for determining on divorce of an international couple which country's laws would be applied rather than necessarily the local law of the country concerned. On 1 June 2010 MEPs had supported the measure.

It is Rome III by the back door after the EU failed to gain unanimity because of opposition from countries such as the UK Sweden Republic of Ireland and others who only apply their own local law and did not want to apply the law of other countries.  Instead these 14 countries which already operate the system of applicable law asked the EU to adopt harmonisation rules similar to Rome III.