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Meeting of the European Notarial Network in Prague, 15-16 September 2022

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The European Notarial Network met in Prague on 15 and 16 September 2022. On the agenda: a meeting of the ENN's national interlocutors and a seminar dedicated to the fight against money laundering. The seminar provided an opportunity to discuss the practical experience of notaries in different EU countries, such as Austria, Spain and the Czech Republic.

The Ukrainian crisis was again, quite logically, at the centre of the work of the ENN interlocutors' meeting. The latter exchanged views on the recent projects they have undertaken:

  • The creation of a multilingual online form to facilitate the travel abroad of children leaving Ukraine.
  • The drafting of a new legal handbook for notaries on the frequent questions they may have in the settlement of a case with elements related to Ukrainian law.
  • The provision of information on Ukrainian law on the Couples in Europe and Vulnerable in Europe websites. As regards the Couples in Europe website, a redesign is being finalised. The draft of the new website was presented at the meeting.
Finally, the new work programme of the ENN for the year 2023 was presented. This year will be a special one as celebrations for the 15th anniversary of the Network will be organised.
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A form to facilitate travel abroad for children leaving Ukraine

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In cooperation with the Ukrainian notariat, the European Notarial Network (ENN) has developed a form enabling parents to express their wishes regarding the journey of their child leaving Ukraine and the exercise of parental responsibility. This form is available for free download from the ENN website. It is fully bilingual (Ukrainian/English and Ukrainian/French) and will soon run with 17 other languages of the European Union, in order to make it understandable in the country of destination. Downloadable in pdf format, it is also possible to complete it online, including via mobile devices, in full or in part, and to download it afterwards.

The form takes into account the recommendations of the Hague Conference on Private International Law on children’s consent to travel and provides a series of important safeguards during the child’s stay abroad. It has four sections, which may be used in full or in part, depending on the situation: (1) identity of the child; (2) information on parents in case the child is not accompanied by both; (3) permission for a child to leave Ukraine with an accompanying person; 4) transfer of custody of the minor (extension of custody by parents or de facto guardianship).

In Ukraine, under national law, it is mandatory to use a notary to certify the signatures of persons allowing a child to leave the country. Therefore, the form includes a specific section dedicated to certification by a notary or another authority in accordance with national law. The certification section may be detached, in cases where the person has no opportunity to go to a notary or to an authority.
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The European Notarial Network mobilises for Ukraine

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The European Notarial Network (ENN) held its first meeting of the year in Paris on 3 May 2022. Aimed at discussing and finding solutions to the problems encountered by European notaries when dealing with cross-border issues, the ENN meeting was used this time to define and implement actions to support Ukrainian notaries and Ukrainians in need of legal support, such as war refugees.

The President of the Chamber of Notaries of Ukraine, Volodymyr Marchenko, took part in the meeting, as well as several Ukrainian notaries. The CNUE President Giampaolo Marcoz addressed the participants at the opening of the meeting, underlining that the European Commission and the European Judicial Network have asked the CNUE to provide practical legal assistance to Ukrainian nationals who have found refuge in Europe.

In concrete terms, the CNUE and the ENN are working on the establishment of a Network of Notaries for Ukraine, which can be mobilised to respond to specific requests. A whole series of practical tools is also being finalised: bilingual forms to help minors, the addition of "Ukraine" sheets on the CNUE's information websites (Successions Europe and The Vulnerable in Europe), handbooks on frequent questions encountered by notaries and, finally, the creation of a documentary database.

The following day, the French Presidency of the Council of the EU and the French Conseil Supérieur du Notariat organised a conference on the theme "Civil Justice in Europe in the Digital Age". President Marcoz presented the European challenges and the achievements of the notariat for a digital justice at the service of States and citizens: creation and interconnection of registers, authentic acts in electronic form, electronic signatures, online company incorporation, online communication with administrations, etc. In this context, he recalled the CNUE's objective of ensuring legal certainty in the digital world.

Finally, on the afternoon of 4 May, the ENN held its first transnational seminar on "Non-judicial divorce and the recast of the Brussels II bis Regulation". The next ENN meeting will be held on 16 September 2022 in Prague.
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