Bulgarians to Benefit from EU Clearer Divorce RulesBulgaria in EU | March 24, 2010, Wednesday // 17:34| views
European Commissioner in charge of Justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, Luxembourger Viviane Reding gives a news conference on Law applicable to bi-national divorces in the European union, at the EU commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 24
Couples from two different member states of the European Union should jointly agree which nation's laws govern their divorce under new draft legislation.
The law will apply to Bulgaria, Austria, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.
The European Commission says the draft law, presented on Wednesday, could simplify divorce for the 140,000 couples of different nationality that split in the EU each year.
If the couple can't agree, the decision will be made by the courts in the country where they are living.
"Thousands of couples find themselves in difficult personal situations because national legal systems have so far failed to provide clear answers," EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said on Wednesday.
"In many cases, children and the weaker spouse suffer. I do not want people in the EU to be left to manage complicated international divorces alone. I want them to have clear rules so that they always know where they stand."
The rules can become law under an EU mechanism called "enhanced co-operation", even if the law is not approved by all 27 member states.
"Enhanced co-operation" allows nine or more countries to push ahead with a measure they deem important but that is blocked by a small minority of EU states. Other countries can join them at a later date.
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