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Gemensam familjerätt för EU-medborgare? - En kritisk analys rörande harmonisering av den materiella familjerätten inom EU

Gustavsson, Peggy LU (2016) JURM02 20162
Department of Law
Abstract
The European Union (EU) is an international organisation with 28 Member States. One of the main goals of the EU is to facilitate the freedom of movement for EU citizens. Furthermore, when people decide to move across the Member States different situations can occur, such as people getting married or people having children with someone from another Member State. The substantive family law within the EU is not harmonized. Consequently, the family law can differ from one Member State to another. The substantive family law is often connected to the development of society. It is also often connected to culture, norms or religion. Since it is regulated by the different Member States, it could lead to obstacles for the freedom of movement for EU... (More)
The European Union (EU) is an international organisation with 28 Member States. One of the main goals of the EU is to facilitate the freedom of movement for EU citizens. Furthermore, when people decide to move across the Member States different situations can occur, such as people getting married or people having children with someone from another Member State. The substantive family law within the EU is not harmonized. Consequently, the family law can differ from one Member State to another. The substantive family law is often connected to the development of society. It is also often connected to culture, norms or religion. Since it is regulated by the different Member States, it could lead to obstacles for the freedom of movement for EU citizens. The obstacles could derive from divergence in legislation and from legal uncertainty.

The aim of this thesis is to highlight and analyse the discussion regarding the harmonisation of the substantive family law within the EU. This thesis therefore analyses the arguments for and against harmonisation of family law. Nevertheless, the thesis also aims to analyse and compare potential consequences of a harmonisation for EU citizens. It deals with a conflict of interests when the EU is aiming for European integration and the Member States want to protect their sovereignty. This thesis has a critical approach, which means that it questions the potential effects of a harmonisation from the perspective of the EU citizens. In order to analyse the discussion regarding harmonisation of the substantive family law, some rules regarding family law in Sweden and Malta are being compared. The reason why the comparison is between Sweden and Malta is because they are both members of the EU and their family law differs. The family law of Malta is, for example, influenced by religion and as a consequence Malta did not have any divorce law until the year of 2011. In Sweden, on the other hand, the view of the individual as an independent actor has been prominent in the marriage law since the 1970s. In order to fulfil the aim of this thesis a EU legal method, a comparative research and an analytical legal approach have been applied.

The conclusions of the thesis are that EU should only act within the limits of the competences conferred in the Treaties. Moreover, according to the Treaties it is the Council that should establish measures concerning family law with cross-border implications. It should be established in accordance with a special legislative procedure whereby the Council needs to unanimously agree before adopting measures. Otherwise, it is possible for the Member States to instead establish enhanced cooperation between themselves. However, some areas of international private law regarding family law have been harmonized, such as maintenance obligations and succession between the Member States. It should not be forgotten that also the European Court of Justice can develop principles when a conflict with EU-law occurs. Nevertheless, the Commission on European Family law (CEFL) has created principles of European family law. CEFL has developed principles regarding divorce and maintenance between former spouses, parental responsibilities and property relations between spouses. These principles could serve as inspiration for the Member States or for the EU institutions in order to harmonise the substantive family law. Lastly, since a Nordic harmonisation has not yet succeeded, it could be questioned whether a European harmonisation would succeed. In order for a harmonisation of the substantive family law to be successful, a first step could be to develop common family law concepts within the EU, such as a concept regarding the best interest of the child. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Europeiska unionen (EU) är en internationell organisation bestående av 28 medlemsstater. Ett av EU:s främsta mål är att främja fri rörlighet för EU-medborgare. När personer väljer att flytta över medlemsstaternas gränser kan olika situationer uppstå. Personer kan exempelvis gifta sig och skaffa barn med någon från en annan medlemsstat. Den materiella familjerätten inom EU är emellertid inte harmoniserad, vilket leder till att den kan variera mellan medlemsstaterna. Familjerätten är ofta knuten till varje lands samhällsutveckling, kultur, religion eller normer. Att familjerätten är en nationell angelägenhet kan medföra hinder för den fria rörligheten av personer inom EU. Det skulle kunna leda till hinder när regleringarna skiljer sig åt,... (More)
Europeiska unionen (EU) är en internationell organisation bestående av 28 medlemsstater. Ett av EU:s främsta mål är att främja fri rörlighet för EU-medborgare. När personer väljer att flytta över medlemsstaternas gränser kan olika situationer uppstå. Personer kan exempelvis gifta sig och skaffa barn med någon från en annan medlemsstat. Den materiella familjerätten inom EU är emellertid inte harmoniserad, vilket leder till att den kan variera mellan medlemsstaterna. Familjerätten är ofta knuten till varje lands samhällsutveckling, kultur, religion eller normer. Att familjerätten är en nationell angelägenhet kan medföra hinder för den fria rörligheten av personer inom EU. Det skulle kunna leda till hinder när regleringarna skiljer sig åt, eftersom förutsebarhet och därigenom rättssäkerheten för EU-medborgarna då kan minska.

Syftet med denna uppsats är att belysa och analysera diskussionen om en harmonisering av den materiella familjerätten inom EU. I uppsatsen analyseras därför vad som talar för respektive emot en harmonisering. Avsikten med uppsatsen är även att kritiskt analysera och jämföra tänkbara effekter av en harmonisering för EU-medborgarna. Uppsatsen behandlar två motstridiga intressen, EU:s intresse om europeisk integration och medlemsstaternas intresse om att bibehålla sin suveränitet. Uppsatsen innehåller därför ett kritiskt perspektiv, vilket innebär att uppsatsen diskuterar tänkbara effekter av en harmonisering utifrån EU-medborgarnas perspektiv. För att analysen inte endast ska vara hypotetiskt utan även grunda sig på praktiska exempel kommer även några familjerättsliga regler från Malta och Sverige att jämföras. Anledningen till det är att både Sverige och Malta är medlemmar i EU och att deras familjerättsliga reglering innehåller skillnader. Familjerättsregleringen på Malta är exempelvis influerad av religion, vilket har medfört att det inte fanns någon äktenskapsskillnads reglering på Malta förrän år 2011. I den svenska äktenskapsrättsliga regleringen har istället synen på individen som en självständig aktör varit framträdande sedan 1970-talet. För att uppfylla uppsatsens syfte har en EU-rättslig, komparativ och rättsvetenskaplig metod tillämpats.

Uppsatsens slutsatser är att EU endast har kompetens att handla inom sina tilldelade befogenheter, vilka finns tilldelade i fördragen. Enligt fördragen framgår att rådet kan vidta åtgärder som rör familjerätt med gränsöverskridande följder. För att rådet ska kunna besluta om sådana åtgärder krävs att enighet i rådet uppnås. Uppnås inte enighet kan medlemsstaterna istället gå vidare med att påbörja ett fördjupat samarbete sinsemellan. Den IP-rättsliga familjerätten har harmoniserats på arvsrättens område och även gällande underhållsbidrag. Därutöver är det även möjligt för EU-domstolen att utveckla principer när en EU-rättslig princip har inskränkts. Kommissionen för europeisk familjerätt (CEFL) har dessutom skapat familjerättsliga principer rörande äktenskapsskillnad och underhåll mellan tidigare makar. Även principer rörande föräldraansvar och egendomsförhållande mellan makar har skapats. Dessa principer skulle kunna fungera som inspiration för medlemsstaterna och för EU:s institutioner vid en harmonisering av den materiella familjerätten inom EU. Slutligen kan det ifrågasättas huruvida en europeisk harmonisering på familjerättens område skulle komma att lyckas, då inte en nordisk harmonisering har lyckats. För att en harmonisering av den materiella familjerätten ska nå framgång skulle ett första steg kunna vara att införa gemensamma och enhetliga familjerättsliga begrepp inom EU, exempelvis rörande barnets bästa. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Gustavsson, Peggy LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
A critical analysis regarding the harmonisation of substantive family law within the EU
course
JURM02 20162
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
EU-rätt, EU-law, familjerätt, Family Law.
language
Swedish
id
8897836
date added to LUP
2017-01-27 11:11:29
date last changed
2017-01-27 11:11:29
@misc{8897836,
  abstract     = {The European Union (EU) is an international organisation with 28 Member States. One of the main goals of the EU is to facilitate the freedom of movement for EU citizens. Furthermore, when people decide to move across the Member States different situations can occur, such as people getting married or people having children with someone from another Member State. The substantive family law within the EU is not harmonized. Consequently, the family law can differ from one Member State to another. The substantive family law is often connected to the development of society. It is also often connected to culture, norms or religion. Since it is regulated by the different Member States, it could lead to obstacles for the freedom of movement for EU citizens. The obstacles could derive from divergence in legislation and from legal uncertainty. 

The aim of this thesis is to highlight and analyse the discussion regarding the harmonisation of the substantive family law within the EU. This thesis therefore analyses the arguments for and against harmonisation of family law. Nevertheless, the thesis also aims to analyse and compare potential consequences of a harmonisation for EU citizens. It deals with a conflict of interests when the EU is aiming for European integration and the Member States want to protect their sovereignty. This thesis has a critical approach, which means that it questions the potential effects of a harmonisation from the perspective of the EU citizens. In order to analyse the discussion regarding harmonisation of the substantive family law, some rules regarding family law in Sweden and Malta are being compared. The reason why the comparison is between Sweden and Malta is because they are both members of the EU and their family law differs. The family law of Malta is, for example, influenced by religion and as a consequence Malta did not have any divorce law until the year of 2011. In Sweden, on the other hand, the view of the individual as an independent actor has been prominent in the marriage law since the 1970s. In order to fulfil the aim of this thesis a EU legal method, a comparative research and an analytical legal approach have been applied.
 
The conclusions of the thesis are that EU should only act within the limits of the competences conferred in the Treaties. Moreover, according to the Treaties it is the Council that should establish measures concerning family law with cross-border implications. It should be established in accordance with a special legislative procedure whereby the Council needs to unanimously agree before adopting measures. Otherwise, it is possible for the Member States to instead establish enhanced cooperation between themselves. However, some areas of international private law regarding family law have been harmonized, such as maintenance obligations and succession between the Member States. It should not be forgotten that also the European Court of Justice can develop principles when a conflict with EU-law occurs. Nevertheless, the Commission on European Family law (CEFL) has created principles of European family law. CEFL has developed principles regarding divorce and maintenance between former spouses, parental responsibilities and property relations between spouses. These principles could serve as inspiration for the Member States or for the EU institutions in order to harmonise the substantive family law. Lastly, since a Nordic harmonisation has not yet succeeded, it could be questioned whether a European harmonisation would succeed. In order for a harmonisation of the substantive family law to be successful, a first step could be to develop common family law concepts within the EU, such as a concept regarding the best interest of the child.},
  author       = {Gustavsson, Peggy},
  keyword      = {EU-rätt,EU-law,familjerätt,Family Law.},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Gemensam familjerätt för EU-medborgare? - En kritisk analys rörande harmonisering av den materiella familjerätten inom EU},
  year         = {2016},
}