Procedure : 2016/2575(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000027/2016

Texts tabled :

O-000027/2016 (B8-0359/2016)

Debates :

PV 27/04/2016 - 20
CRE 27/04/2016 - 20

Votes :

Texts adopted :

Parliamentary questions
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15 February 2016
Question for oral answer O-000027/2016
to the Council
Rule 128
Pavel Svoboda, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs
Cecilia Wikström, on behalf of the Committee on Petitions

 Subject: Protecting the best interest of the child (across borders) in Europe
 Answer in plenary 

In connection with the upcoming review of the Brussels IIa Regulation and with rising public concern, as manifested by an increasing number of petitions addressed to Parliament, the Council is asked to take a position on the following issues:

1. In view of Article 81 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which concerns judicial cooperation in civil matters, does the Council intend to streamline principles and guidelines aimed at enhancing cooperation in cross-border matters relating to children, by promoting measures such as mediation and conciliation, including with the biological family, before a child is put up for adoption, and always taking into consideration the best interest of the child?

2. How will the Council facilitate dialogue and the sharing of best practices among social services with a view to developing policies that support families to raise their children with the utmost concern for their welfare, and thereby reducing the number of children eventually taken into care or put up for adoption? Does the Council intend to encourage the placement of siblings in the same foster family prior to final adoption, in order to preserve the best interests of the child?

3. In view of the diversity of cultural and social heritage, how does the Council envisage the monitoring and coordination of the functioning of child welfare services across the Member States, with a specific focus on adoption practices in cross-border cases, in order to ensure that the best interest of the child is preserved?

4. Would the Council support the designation, where possible, of specialised chambers within family courts in order to ensure coherence and a swift return procedure in cross-border cases? Will the Council facilitate cross-border mediation bodies within the existing framework of judicial cooperation within the EU, as a last resort for dealing with cross-border cases of child abduction and parental custody disputes?

5. Could the Council elaborate on whether it would support any potential Commission-led, Europe-wide initiative aimed at launching a web portal on which relevant legal information on the Member States’ adoption procedures, and the relevant authorities and institutions to turn to in cases involving cross-border abductions, are listed in a clear and accessible way?

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