There was good news this week for gay couples in the European Union who are married or in some other form of legal ‘civil partnership’.
On Wednesday, the European Commission published proposals for new EU regulations, simplifying property rights procedures for international couples.
The proposed rules will facilitate legal and administrative procedures in the field of property rights (real estate, banking, other possessions) for all international couples, whether married or in a civil partnership.
The proposed legislation comprises of one regulation for marriages, and one regulation for civil partnerships. The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament will now examine the two proposals.
Michael Cashman MEP, co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, met with the European Commission yesterday to ensure proposals did not lead to different rights for same-sex or different-sex couples.
“I welcome Viviane Reding’s proposals, which will make life easier for millions of international couples—including same-sex couples,” he commented this morning.
“Parliament and Council must now work on these two texts together, and consider the civil partnership regulation exactly the same as the marriage regulation.
“Proposing a single text would have sent a better signal, but these two proposals remain inextricably linked,” he added.
Sophie in’t Veld MEP, a vice-president of the Intergroup, also welcomed the proposal.
“It’s crucial that the European area of freedom, security and justice be up and running as soon as feasible, and these proposals go in the right direction.
“Council and Parliament must now follow the Commission’s lead by making no difference between same- and different-sex couples, in full respect of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
“We will make sure these regulations bring about equality, both in the letter and in the spirit of the law,” she pledged.
This initiative is part of the 2009-2014 Stockholm Programme for a European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.