Quo vadis, tu, notarius (europaea) – second part

Quo vadis, tu, notarius (europaea) – second part

Read the original article here

September 2023

We continue with the list of acronyms, started in the last issue: CNUE, ARERT, MAPE.

Let's begin: The mission of the Council of Notariats of the European Union (CNUE) is to promote the notariat and its active contribution to any decision-making process of the European institutions affecting legal aspects of citizenship access to justice, as well as elements of company law and consumer protection.

The CNUE brings together civil law notaries from 22 EU Member States. It represents over 45,000 notaries and over 200,000 employees. Notaries in these 22 EU Member States serve over 400 million EU citizens.

In addition, the CNUE keeps its members up to date with developments in European legislation and any initiatives taken by the EU institutions. It also assists in the continuous training of notaries in EU law..

Last but not least, the CNUE provides citizens with a set of free and practical resources to help them learn more about their rights. European notaries also have many practical tools to help them in their cross-border cases. These include information on couples in Europe or on succession in Europe The latter website has been so popular that it has been integrated by the European Commission into its e-justice portal.

Continuing in the line of "deciphering" acronyms, we remain in the sphere of successions and mention the Association of European Network of Registers of Wills (ARERT))

The ENRWA is a partner of the CNUE in work related to the regulation of successions in Europe. This association enables (i) the interconnection of registers of wills to search for testamentary dispositions of a deceased person in 13 European countries, and (ii) the interconnection of registers of the European Certificate of Succession (ECS) to avoid duplication of succession procedures with elements of foreignness.

The ENRWA website has recently received a digital facelift. The new space provides comprehensive information about the association's mission and development. A page is dedicated to collaboration with European institutions and projects funded by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Justice. The site also provides data on cross-border successions in the form of practical information sheets translated into 20 languages for notaries, legal professionals and European citizens.

How can ENRWA help us?

a) a) Simply, if we have an inheritance case with elements of foreignness and we want to know if the deceased had links, for example, with France, then we can query the French register of wills through the National Centre for the Administration of National Notarial Registers - Infonot, by sending an e-mail to: Another useful example would be for our colleagues in the Ardel, who, for Hungarian deceased persons, can query the Hungarian register of wills in the same way.

In the future, it is hoped that the National Centre for the Administration of National Notarial Registers- Infonot will join the majority of interconnected notaries by switching to the automated European Network of Registers of Wills (ENRW) system. This would allow automated interconnection and could give Romanian notaries the possibility to query foreign registers of wills through the same application through which they check the National Notarial Register of Liberalities - RNNEL in order to avoid duplication of inheritance procedures with foreign elements.

Statistical figures show a steady increase in the number of queries, so that notaries throughout Europe can, through the ENRWA, be certain whether or not a de cuius has left a will in another country. défunt a laissé un testament dans un autre pays.

b)TheENRWA also allows the interconnection of national registers of European Certificate of Succession (ECS). Thus, also in order to avoid duplication of inheritance procedures with elements of foreignness, it is possible to check whether an ECS has already been issued for a deceased person. For the time being, verification can be carried out for three countries (the Netherlands, Luxembourg and France), to which Belgium and Italy will be added in the near future, and negotiations are under way with other countries. However, if we think only of the large Romanian diaspora in Italy, we can understand both the importance of such a register of ECS and the importance of interconnecting these national registers. In this context, we also welcome the initiative of the National Centre for the Administration of National Notarial Registers - Infonot to set up such a register, which, we hope, will be followed by the interconnection with the other national registers on ECS through ENRWA.

As a final remark, we point out that in none of the situations mentioned, both in terms of querying the registers of wills and those relating to the ECS, does the ENRWA have, under any circumstances, access to the databases of the national registers of wills, the association merely acting as a link between these registers.

We end today's presentation with the last acronym, MAPE.

The MAPE project was carried out by the CNUE, in partnership with the ENRWA and four notariats: German, Lithuanian, Dutch and Hungarian, and aims at reforming the European Succession Regulation.

Three questionnaires were sent out to collect and analyse the data: one to notaries in the 22 member notariats of the CNUE, one to notaries with expertise in cross-border inheritance matters and one to professional notarial organisations. The ENRWA also provided data, for the period 2016-2021, on the number of queries for ECS registers and the number of queries for probate registers.

One of the findings of the MAPE project is that notaries are familiar with the Regulation on succession law, although most notaries use the Regulation occasionally, with cross-border successions accounting for between 5% and 6% of all notarial succession cases.

All notaries provided training programmes on the application of the Regulation and most notaries found them useful. Therefore, one of the recommendations of the CNUE is that Member States, the EU and notarial professional bodies continue to support or organise training activities for notaries, future notaries and staff of notarial offices, to improve expertise in the use of the Regulation and to promote the use of tools such as the European Notarial Network or ENRWA. New training activities should focus on promoting exchanges of notarial experience, particularly between notaries in Member States in geographical proximity, such as, for example, cooperation between Romanian and Hungarian notaries, as outlined above.

Most notaries said that the European Regulation made their work easier when they were faced with a case with foreign elements. On the other hand, even if they indicated that they had no difficulties in determining the habitual residence of the deceased, the research showed that further guidance on this concept was needed.

From the replies to the questionnaire sent to notaries with expertise in cross-border inheritance matters, three major difficulties in the application of the Regulation were highlighted: (i) difficulties in registering ECS or authentic instruments in one Member State in the land register of another Member State, (ii) lack of a definition of habitual residence, (iii) risk of parallel inheritance procedures as not all Member States have a register of the opening of succession or a register for ECS. Nearly 40% of the notaries who responded to the questionnaires indicated that they had encountered parallel procedures. The recommendation of the CNUE is that Member States create a register for ongoing and completed probate proceedings so that they can be interconnected at European level. This would allow verification of the opening or completion of a succession procedure in another Member State.

The CNUE also recommends that the European institutions consider asking Member States to create a public register in which all ECS are registered. These registers could then be interconnected via ENRWA.

We hope that by clarifying these acronyms we can help Romanian notaries to understand the usefulness of the tools made available by Europe and to use them when necessary.

Octavian Rogojanu, Notary Public, President of ENRWA