Last week, the European Commission put forward proposals with provisions for carrying out a unitary patent system in the 25 EU Member States that have joined the enhanced cooperation. With this new system, the costs of patent protection in the EU are likely to drop radically in the future.
According to the proposals, in case you would like to file a European patent with unitary effect in the EU, you would have to first file the patent application in the EPO in the same way you do today. Once granted the patent, you would then have the possibility to request the EPO to register the unitary effect in the European Patent Register.
These proposals were transmitted to the Council and the European Parliament and therefore we still have to way for their adoption.