Read for You in “Notariaat Magazine” edition June 5, 2017


The Dutch notary in Europe: First viewed, Now envied




Dixit Geertjan Sarneel and Jef Oomen: “If you do not participate in Europe, then you'll follow the facts"

“What is being decided in Europe, has an effect on the daily work in the notary"

As a matter of fact, the Dutch notary occupies a special position in Europe.

Jef Oomen, President of the Royal National Professional Organisation of Notaries (KNB): “When we got liberalization in 1999, the notaries from other EU Member States looked strange about it; it was assumed that the notary would disappear in the Netherlands. We were the laughingstock of Europe.”

That time is already long gone. The Dutch notary has managed to adapt to the new circumstances.

Oomen cites Lineke Minkjan, (Foreign Specialist of KNB): ”She compares us with a fish that must live on the dry. Instead of gills, we got paws.
We have been able to unite the notary office and entrepreneurship.
We have not been lost, and we hardly handed in something on our task package



For this reason, the French notary is now looking with great interest to the Netherlands.

As Minister of Economic Affairs, Emmanuel Macron wanted to liberalize the notary. Now that Macron has been elected president of France, it becomes even more urgent for French notaries to reflect on their position. “They hang on our lips” says former KNB president Sarneel, representing the KNB in Europe.

Early June, sixty French notaries  are coming to the Netherlands. They want to talk to Dutch notaries, in order to better understand the effects of liberalization in the Dutch notary in the last fifteen years.

Sarneel: "What can they learn from our experiences in order to anticipate the possible consequences of the so-called Macron law?"

Oomen: "I do not say we are a guide country, but we are definitely not mocked anymore. The Dutch notary has a strong public support and we have a strong focus on digitization.

These are two important pillars and that awareness seeps, in my opinion, also in Europe. "



French notaries take a look

Sixty french notaries visited their collegues of the Netherlands on 06., 07. and 08. june 2017.

The French are facing liberalization and wanted to know the effects of this liberalization in notary of the Netherlands 15 years ago. They visited 6 different notary-offices in small groups, and they were particularly curious about the different types of notaries, the competition between the various offices, and the cooperation between notaries and lawyers.

In the Netherlands, cooperation between lawyers and notaries has been common for a very long time. There are many mixed offices in the Netherlands (Notaries/Lawyers).

The French notaries, mainly had questions about: cooperation, the distribution of files, and also about liability ...

According to KNB, the French notaries went home with a positive feeling about the liberalization in the Dutch notary office. The French Notary Marie-Hélène Pero Augerau-Hue was particularly surprised by the fact that the Dutch notary has overcome well liberalization of tariffs (…something they are very much afraid of…), but she left with a positive feeling and now she looks the things in a completely different way.


Remarks by CPNUE:

  • Liberalization in the Netherlands started in 1999.
  • Statistics show that since then, the number of notaries dropped by more than 10%; and
  • That more than another 10% of notary offices are under financial supervision;
  • That until last year, the workforce was reduced by more than 30% following redundancies due to economic reasons;

That fortunately, since last year, things are going a bit better; and the workforce fortunately grows again;


But this has all lasted for 18 years ...

So, Quid the Allegation that the Dutch notary did overcome well liberalization of tariffs?!??










Only notaries can authenticate signatures in real estate

Justified restriction on the principle of freedom to provide services


In real estate transactions only notaries may grant signature authenticity.

This was established by the European Court, according to which "The Member States, the right to grant authenticity of signatures applied on documents for the establishment or transfer of rights in rem in real estate, can only be reserved to notaries."

This limitation of the principle of freedom to provide services, can be allowed because "It helps to ensure legal certainty regarding the real estate transactions and the proper functioning of the Land authority."