MEP calls for EU protection for expats buying abroad

Fecha Publicación: 
1 Diciembre 2011

Diana Wallis MEP has stepped up her efforts to resolve the problems facing thousands of expats involved in cross-border EU property sales with the publication of a booklet entitled European Property Rights and Wrongs

The Telegraph | Noticia

The UK Liberal Democrat MEP has campaigned on behalf of countless Britons who bought property abroad only to find themselves beyond the help of EU and British law when things turned ugly.

As well as offering practical steps to ensuring the legal security of cross-border sales, the publication also puts forward the argument that the EU has a duty in protecting the purchase of property.

Ms Wallis said: "Property rights issues in countries such as Spain and Cyprus are by far the most pressing in the Petitions Committee, and while tens of thousands face demolition, eviction or bankruptcy, the EU has been unable, or refused, to act.

"The EU offers consumer protection for someone purchasing books, a piece of furniture or a hairdryer, and yet it has been reluctant to act to protect consumers when they make the most important purchase of their life.

"I decided to launch this publication as a response to the stalemate we have found ourselves in, when defending those affected here in the European Parliament."

The practical steps outlined in the booklet include the developing the Cross-Border Electronic Conveyancing project that seeks to unify conveyancing and notarial services and enable buyers to use professionals from their home nation to assist with the purchasing process.

It also looks at improving e-justice services and the development of pan-European legal services, and features input from European land law experts and some of the groups who have taken their battle to the Parliament's Petitions Committee over the last few years.

In June this year, Ms Wallis presented a seminar at the European Parliament in Brussels where she argued that the EU should facilitate property deals across borders and at the very least provide a framework of legal certainty.

She will formally present her publication to the General Assembly of the European Land Registry Association in Tallinn on December 2. It will also be presented to Commissioner Viviane Reding, members of the Petitions Committee and the various citizens' action groups.

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