EU citizens to be allowed to undergo German notary training
Until now, in the majority of Member States only nationals of their own respective countries were allowed to become notaries. Today, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled in several infringement proceedings that this nationality requirement is not compatible with the European freedom of establishment. To date, it has also only been possible for German nationals to be appointed as notaries under German law.
In response to this judgment, the German Federal Ministry of Justice will prepare a statutory amendment to open up the notary profession to lawyers who do not have German citizenship. In future, for example, also French citizens will be able to undergo German notary training, and be appointed as notaries – under the same conditions as Germans.
The judges have not, however, ordered recognition of qualifications obtained in other EU Member States. In this regard, the ECJ did not follow the argument submitted by the European Commission, which had requested that Germany be found to have failed to implement the Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications.
In their judgment, the European judges expressly point out that the decision “does not relate to the status and organisation of notaries in the German legal system, nor to the conditions of access, other than that of nationality, to the profession of notary in that Member State”.