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Parliamentary questions
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26 February 2014
Question for written answer E-002269-14
to the Commission
Rule 117
Roberta Angelilli (PPE)

 Subject:  International child abduction in Slovakia — proper enforcement of the law
 Answer in writing 

The Office of the European Parliament Mediator for International Parental Child Abduction has received a case involving the abduction and custody of children in Slovakia.

According to the information received, it appears that two children were born in Italy (in 2001 and 2003) from the union of an Italian citizen and a Slovak citizen, and the couple set up their family home in Italy.

In September 2011, the mother returned to Slovakia with her two children, one of whom is suffering from serious illnesses, without informing the father. Following unsuccessful attempts at conciliation, the Juvenile Court of Naples gave the father sole custody of the children and ordered that they return immediately to Italy, which had been their habitual residence before they were abducted. This ruling was upheld also on appeal.

In Slovakia, the children were ordered to return by the Court of Košice in its judgment of 3 May 2012, which was later overturned on appeal by a judgment of 11 October 2012, which wrongly denied that the children's habitual residence was Italy. On 30 April 2013 the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic stipulated that the transfer of the children to Slovakia, by their mother, from their habitual residence in Naples was as an ‘unauthorised and illegal act’.

The seriously ill child returned to Italy in September 2012 to be with his father, who is now demanding the immediate return of his other son. The two brothers, therefore, for the past year and a half, have been forced to live apart.

The Provincial Court of Košice, instead of ordering that the child be repatriated, on 12 April 2013 issued a decision calling for a Slovak expert opinion on the personality of the children, their emotional attachment to their parents, their linguistic knowledge of Italian and every other aspect and fact relating to the subject matter of the hearings.

The case in question constitutes yet another example of the difficulty in obtaining, from the Slovak authorities, the proper enforcement of Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 (Brussels II) and the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Can the Commission say whether the case in question could lead to the opening of infringement proceedings against Slovakia?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 365, 15/10/2014
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