Informations and abstract
Keywords: Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; Right to Respect for Private and Family Life; Right to Marry and Found a Family; Court of Justice; European Court of Human Rights.
The matter of personal status and family law is notoriously beyond the competence of the European Union. Nevertheless the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU devotes Article 7 to the right to respect for private and family life, and Article 9 to the right to marry and found a family. In the Court of Justice's case law, the right to respect for family life has been essentially limited to the sphere of family reunification. In situations related to EU citizens, moreover, Article 7 has been further restricted to cases where these persons have formerly exercised the right to free movement. The Court has however extended the application of Article 7 to situations where the national lawmaker does not directly intervene to give effect to EU law (Article 51 of the Charter), rather outlining the domestic legal concepts that make it concretely applicable. Regarding Article 9, the Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights have operated synergically giving rise to remarkable developments on the theme of same-sex marriage, although not going so far as to safeguard the continuity of status that have been acquired abroad.