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Parliamentary questions
12 March 2014
Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission

Cases of intra-EU cross-border parental child abduction are covered by Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 (the Brussels IIa regulation), which supplements the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The regulation provides for an expeditious uniform procedure whereby the left-behind parent can obtain the return of a child who has been wrongfully removed or retained. As regards enforcement, it renders judgments issued in one Member State capable of execution in another, in line with national rules and procedures.

The Commission monitors implementation of the regulation in all Member States including Austria. To this end, it carefully assesses complaints received from citizens and works together with the Austrian central authorities designated under the regulation to assist in its application and discusses proper operation of the instrument within the framework of European Judicial Network in Civil and Commercial Matters. The Commission follows closely also judgments of the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights concerning the return procedure in Austria. Where EC law is breached, the Commission makes use of the procedures available under the Treaty.

The Commission would like to inform the Honourable Member that it has launched a review of the Brussels IIa regulation and will adopt a report on how it has been applied in practice. In addition, a study has been requested to collect relevant data including on the child return procedure.

OJ C 288, 28/08/2014
Last updated: 17 March 2014Legal notice