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Européan Commission – Press Release

Nationality condition for notaries: Member States that have brought an end to discrimination see the infringement proceedings against them closed by the Commission

Brussels, 22 March 2012 - The Commission decided today to close infringement proceedings against Belgium and Luxembourg relating to the nationality condition for access to the notarial profession. Similar proceedings against Germany, France and Austria were closed in February. These Member States, which had been censured by the Court of Justice in its judgments of 24 May 20111, brought this discriminatory situation to an end by amending their legislation.

The Commission has also decided to close its infringement proceedings against Lithuania and Malta, which have also scrapped the nationality condition for notaries.

The impact of the judgments

In its judgments of last May, the Court took the view that the work of notaries was not covered by the exceptions to the right of establishment provided for in Article 51 of the TFEU in relation to the exercise of official authority. Consequently, the nationality condition for access to the notarial profession constituted discrimination on the grounds of nationality, which is prohibited under Article 49 of the TFEU that deals with the right of establishment.

Have other Member States already put an end to this discrimination?

Spain, Estonia, Italy and Portugal have already stopped it.

More information

The latest information on infringement proceedings against Member States can be found at:

To find out more about infringement proceedings, see MEMO/12/200

Contacts :

Chantal Hughes (+32 2 296 44 50)

Carmel Dunne (+32 2 299 88 94)

Audrey Augier (+32 2 297 16 07)

1 :

BE: C-08/47, LU: C-58/51

DE: C-08/54, FR: C-08/50 and AT: C-08/53

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