An unprecedented move to boost cooperation on divorce laws with the aim of easing proceedings for couples of different nationality has been given initial green signal by eight EU nations. The eight -- Austria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia and Spain -- sent official letters to the European Commission, which will draw up a plan for them to work more closely together. It is the first time the procedure -- known in Brussels as "enhanced cooperation" -- has been used in the European Union. "The procedure has been launched. We will have to wait and see if other countries will rally to it, to create enough momentum," the diplomat said. The commission, the EU's executive body, said Wednesday that it had not yet received the letters, in a move made necessary after Sweden resisted all attempts to harmonise divorce laws across the 27-nation bloc. Around 170,000 couples from different nations divorce each year but the EU has struggled to help end fighting over which court should settle their separation, at an often difficult and emotional time. Sweden strives to expedite divorces as quickly as possible, while the process can take far longer elsewhere, with some nations demanding a period of separation before any court divorce can begin. Laws are tougher than most in Poland and Ireland, while Malta does not recognise the right to divorce at all. Adultery is recognised in courts in France, but not in Finland. Marriage between homosexuals is only recognised in a few member states. France is known to strongly back the move by the eight, while Belgium, Germany, Lithuania, Portugal and Slovakia are thinking about joining them, according to EU officials. The Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia and Poland are opposed, along with Estonia which fears that the idea of a two-speed Europe would "open up a Pandora's box" in other areas. EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot said that he wanted to examine "all the consequences that will arise" from the move, which still must be approved by two thirds of the member nations for the eight to be able to forge ahead.Source: AFPRAS/L << Religious Police in Saudi Arabia Ban Pet Cats and Dogs HIV-AIDS Entry Ban in China Despite Olympic Scrutiny >> Recommended Reading K-Fed Insists His Divorce Is Normal Kevin Federline insists that his post-marital woes with Britney Spears 'make other people feel normal,' as they can relate to it. READ MORE Britney Needs Her Kids Affirms Adnan Ghalib Britney Spears' beau Adnan Ghalib has insisted that the pop star is neither crazy nor suicidal. READ MORE Kids from Divorced, Unstable Families Have Health Issues Kids who live in unstable family situations after their parents divorced fare much worse later on in life on a variety of measures as compared to children who had stable post-divorce READ MORE Discrimination Against Widows, Divorcees in Most Nations: Study Widows in most countries are discriminated against, according to a study undertaken by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA). READ MORE Divorce: Pros and Cons Divorce can be traumatic for children and create a sense of insecurity amongst them. Couples should realize that joined parenting is important even after divorce. READ MORE How to Handle Depression and Stress while Going Through a Divorce? Divorce or breakup can be stressful and cause anxiety, depression and panic. Simple ways can help you deal with depression triggered by loss of marriage. READ MORE How to Save your marriage You can save your marriage - even when your partner insists on a divorce. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Accident and Trauma Care Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips More News on: How to Save your marriageDivorce: Pros and ConsHow to Handle Depression and Stress while Going Through a Divorce?