RECOMMENDATION on the proposal for a Council decision on the accession of the European Community to the Hague Conference on Private International Law

18.7.2006 - (7591/2006 – C6‑0138/2006 – 2005/0251(AVC)) - ***

Committee on Legal Affairs
Rapporteur: Diana Wallis

Procedure : 2005/0251(AVC)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  


on the proposal for a Council decision on the accession of the European Community to the Hague Conference on Private International Law

(7591/2006 – C6‑0138/2006 – 2005/0251(AVC))

(Assent procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (7591/2006),

–   having regard to the request for assent submitted by the Council pursuant to Article 61(c), in conjunction with the first subparagraph of Article 300(2) and the second subparagraph of Article 300(3), of the EC Treaty (C6‑0138/2006),

–   having regard to Rule 75(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6‑0250/2006),

1.  Gives its assent to the proposal for a Council decision;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.


The Hague Conference

With 65 Member States, including all the EU countries, the Hague Conference on private international law is a global inter-governmental organisation. A melting pot of different legal traditions, it develops and services multilateral legal instruments, which respond to global needs.

An increasing number of non-Member States are also becoming parties to the Hague Conventions. As a result, the work of the Conference encompasses more than 120 countries around the world.

The statutory mission of the Conference is to work for the "progressive unification" of the rules of private international law. This involves finding internationally-agreed approaches to issues such as jurisdiction of the courts, applicable law, and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in a wide range of areas, from commercial law and banking law to international civil procedure and from child protection to matters of marriage and personal status.

Over the years, the Conference has, in carrying out its mission, increasingly become a centre for international judicial and administrative co-operation in the area of private law, especially in the fields of protection of the family and children, civil procedure and commercial law. To date 35 conventions have been adopted.

The ultimate goal of the Organisation is to work for a world in which, despite the differences between legal systems, persons - individuals as well as companies - can enjoy a high degree of legal certainty.

The Conference held its first meeting in 1893, on the initiative of T.M.C. Asser (Nobel Peace Prize 1911). It became a permanent inter-governmental organisation in 1955, upon entry into force of its Statute.

The Organisation meets in principle every four years in Plenary Session (ordinary Diplomatic Session) to negotiate and adopt Conventions and to decide upon future work. The Conventions are prepared by Special Commissions or working groups held several times a year, generally at the Peace Palace in The Hague, increasingly in various member countries. Special Commissions are also organised to review the operation of the Conventions and adopt recommendations with the object of improving the effectiveness of the Conventions and promoting consistent practices and interpretation.

The Organisation is funded principally by its Member States. Its budget is approved every year by the Council of Diplomatic Representatives of Member States. The Organisation also seeks and receives some funding for special projects from other sources.

Proposed accession of the Community

Since the Treaty of Amsterdam, the Community has had competence to adopt measures relating to judicial cooperation in civil matters having cross-border implications in so far as necessary for the proper functioning of the internal market (Article 65 of the EC Treaty). As a result of the case-law of the Court of Justice, this has resulted in a transfer of external competences from the Member States to the Community. Given that a number of instruments adopted by the Community cover matters dealt with by the Hague Conference, the Commission has submitted the present proposal designed to secure the accession of the Community to the Conference.

The procedure for the accession of the EC to the Hague Conference is at an advanced stage. The 2/3rds of signatory States needed in order to amend the Conference's Statute so as to allow the Community to accede should be attained shortly.

Future involvement of Parliament in the work of the Hague Conference

Your rapporteur calls on the Commission and the Council to confirm that Parliament will be involved in the proceedings of the Hague Conference and consulted on draft Hague Conventions, especially those that touch on legislative areas where Parliament with the Council has the power of co-decision, and asks the Commission to make a proposal to Parliament setting out a formal procedure for that involvement and consultation. She further considers that Parliament should investigate fully with the Conference further modes of cooperation, including taking the lead in the founding of a "parliamentary forum" with national parliamentarians to both follow and inform the work of the Conference.



Proposal for a Council decision on the accession of the European Community to the Hague Conference on Private International Law


7591/2006 – C6 0138/2006 – 2005/0251(AVC)

Date of request for Parliament’s assent


Committee responsible
  Date announced in plenary


Committee(s) asked for opinion(s)
  Date announced in plenary






Not delivering opinion(s)
  Date of decision






Enhanced cooperation
  Date announced in plenary






  Date appointed

Diana Wallis


Previous rapporteur(s)



Simplified procedure – date of decision


Legal basis disputed
  Date of JURI opinion






Discussed in committee






Date adopted


Result of final vote







Members present for the final vote

Maria Berger, Carlo Casini, Monica Frassoni, Giuseppe Gargani, Piia-Noora Kauppi, Katalin Lévai, Hans-Peter Mayer, Aloyzas Sakalas, Francesco Enrico Speroni, Gabriele Stauner, Daniel Strož, Diana Wallis, Rainer Wieland, Tadeusz Zwiefka

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Hiltrud Breyer, Manuel Medina Ortega, Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou, Michel Rocard

Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

Sharon Bowles, Miroslav Mikolášik

Date tabled



Comments (available in one language only)