Kouzalis LLC notes that even though Cyprus is considered to be one of the most traditional countries in the European Union, with the 3rd highest rate of marriages (7.5%), compared to its statistics the number of marriages declined from 13.558 in 2016 to 13.062 in 2017. More specifically, civil marriages decreased from 9.632 in 2016 to 9.120 in 2017 while the numbers of religion marriages were almost identical (3.942 in 2017 and 3.926 in 2016).

The most common reason for the lower marriages rates in our island is undoubtedly the hit of the economic crisis (2012-2013) which left many couples unable to afford the financial expenses of marriage. Nevertheless, due to the moderately demographic changes in Europe, more and more couples tend to just cohabit and even to create their own families without being “legally bound” to their partner.

However, many citizens desire a middle ground between the two extremist sides. The recent endorsement of the Civil Union Law 184(I)/2015 legitimises the non-marital cohabitation of a couple through an agreement (“legal certification”). It has the power to confer the same rights and responsibilities as marriage (article 4) as long as the parties expressly agree. One of the most important reasons why many chose it over marriage is its simple dissolution at civil registry compared to the endless juristic process of divorce which requires both parties to sign it. Moreover, unlike marriage, homosexual couples have the right to enter into a civil partnership.

Kouzalis LLC therefore concludes, that as a result of the abovementioned change, the law in Cyprus is responding harmoniously to the demographical changes of the community and gets on a similar path with other EU member states, demonstrating also a greater process for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning + (LGBTQ +) community and equality in Cyprus.

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