Empowering European Families

Empowering European Families (EEF) is a research project led jointly by Katharina Boele-Woelki (Bucerius Law School and Utrecht University), Wendy Schrama (Utrecht University) and Christiane Wendehorst (University of Vienna). It is co-financed by an action grant under the Justice Programme of the European Union and conducted in cooperation with the European Law Institute (ELI) as well as with the support of the Council of the Notariats of the European Union (CNUE).

For want of a uniform European regime in the field of marriage and partnership law couples in the EU are still facing a number of problems when one or both partners live in a country other than their country of origin, when changing the country of their habitual residence, or when buying or selling property abroad. To a certain extent, the existing problems could be overcome by way of early choice of court and choice of law, and by agreeing in advance on important economic issues pertaining to a couple’s legal relationship. EEF aims at removing obstacles to free movement for couples within the EU and at improving certainty and predictability within a couple's legal relationships by way of

  • Comparative research on the ambit of party autonomy in family and succession law,
  • Development of a set of information sheets and model templates to facilitate the use of party autonomy, and
  • A strategy for awareness-raising among couples in the EU and their legal advisers. 


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"Empowering European Families" presented at the ELI Annual Conference in Riga

The 2018 ELI Annual Conference took place in Riga (Latvia) on 5-7 September 2018. At the University of Latvia around 250 legal experts from Europe and...


On 3 July, the European Law Institute (ELI) President Christiane Wendehorst visited Sofia. In the course of her visit, Wendehorst held three meetings,...


EEF’s final consultative meeting

The Empowering European Families project is drawing to a close and a final consultative meeting with selected Working Group and Advisory Committee...


Final Meeting of the Project Group on Empowering European Families in Vienna (Austria)

The Working Group and Advisory Committee of the ELI Project on Empowering European Families: Towards More Party Autonomy in European Family and...


The EEF presented at the ERA Conference in Trier

Last week the Empowering European Families project team held their last public workshop in Trier at ERA. From the 30th November until the 1st...


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

From the 30 November–1 December, Members of the Working Group and of the Advisory Committee of the Empowering European Families: Towards More Party...

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