Procedure : 2012/2791(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000159/2012

Texts tabled :

O-000159/2012 (B7-0367/2012)

Debates :

PV 19/11/2012 - 18
CRE 19/11/2012 - 18

Votes :

Texts adopted :

Parliamentary questions
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13 September 2012

Question for oral answer O-000159/2012

to the Commission

Rule 115

Klaus-Heiner Lehne, Luigi Berlinguer, Eva Lichtenberger, Francesco Enrico Speroni, Alexandra Thein, Tadeusz Zwiefka

on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs

  Subject:  Acceptance of the accession of eight third countries to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

 Answer in plenary 

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction of 25 October 1980 is of great importance, since it establishes a system allowing the speedy return of abducted children to their proper country of residence.

In order for the Convention to apply between an acceding state and a state which is already a party to it, the accession must be accepted by the state which is already a party.

The Commission considers that the EU has acquired exclusive external competence in the field of international child abduction, as it has already exercised its internal competence in this area, in particular by means of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003.

Accordingly, the Commission has submitted eight proposals for decisions calling on the Member States to accept, on behalf of the Union, the accession of eight third countries.

The Council, however, is currently blocking these decisions and refusing to consult Parliament and thereby make progress in this matter, as it would seem that it contests the principle of the decisions on legal grounds.

Can the Commission confirm that the Union has exclusive external competence in this matter?

Can the Commission provide a rough estimate of the number of individual cases of international child abduction that may have been negatively affected by this delay, bearing in mind that Russia and Morocco – countries with which a considerable number of EU citizens have family connections – are two of the eight countries in question?

Would the Commission agree with the signatories to this question that the Council should lift its legal objections to these decisions and allow them to be approved?

Tabled: 13.9.2012

Forwarded: 17.9.2012

Deadline for reply: 24.9.2012

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