Protecting children’s best interests in cross-border custody disputes 

Measures to better protect the best interests of children in cross-border parental custody disputes, adoption decisions and abductions by parents within the EU will be debated by MEPs, Commissioner Věra Jourová and Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for the Council Presidency on Wednesday and wrapped up in a non-binding resolution to be voted on Thursday.

MEPs are set to urge EU countries to designate specialised chambers within family courts or cross-border mediation bodies to handle transnational cases involving children in the EU, and also to stress the need for the EU Commission and member states to lay down rules on the automatic recognition of domestic adoption documents issued in other EU countries.

Note to editors


The resolution follows hundreds of petitions on child-related cases received by the European Parliament's Petitions Committee. Many concerns point to a problem with the implementation of the Brussels IIa Regulation on recognition and enforcement of family law. Under Parliament’s Rule of Procedure 216(2), the committee may, with regard to an admissible petition, draw up an own-initiative report or submit a short motion for resolution to Parliament, provided that there is no objection by the Conference of Presidents (Parliament’s President and political group leaders).


Many of the child-related petitions supporting the new resolution concern various cases in Germany, the UK and Denmark.


Procedure: Oral questions to Council and Commission (with resolution)


Debate: Wednesday, 27 April

Vote: Thursday, 28 April


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