Push to give gay partners equal property rights in EU

Fundamental Rights Agency says current regulations on couples' property rights in Europe goes against equality laws

Push to give gay partners equal property rights in EU
12 June 2012

Gay civil partners should have the same property rights as married couples across EU countries, recommends the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA).

Last year, the European Commission proposed two new regulations to simplify sharing and dividing couples’ property, such as personal belongings and financial assets, when they move between EU member states – one for married couples and another for registered partners.

The first regulation allows spouses, regardless of their gender, to choose under which national law they can share their property.

But by contrast, the second regulation does not allow registered partners to choose which law applies to the management of their property.

The FRA says this division is not in line with EU equality laws and could lead to discrimination.

Alexandra Thein MEP, member of the LGBT Intergroup and rapporteur for the proposed regulations in parliament, welcomed the agency’s statement.

‘It confirms our skepticism towards the approach taken by the commission,’ she said.

‘There was no legitimate legal need to propose two separate regulations and the differential treatment proposed by the commission is not justified.

‘I strongly recommend that the Council of the European Union takes this opinion into account and adopt two regulations that are in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights.’

The European Parliament will now make recommendations to the Council of the European Union, which is in charge of adopting the regulations.

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