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MEPs consider cross-border custody cases 03/05/2016 MEPs have called for specialised chambers within EU countries' family courts to ensure that transnational cases are processed faster

MEPs consider cross-border custody cases

MEPs have called for specialised chambers within EU countries' family courts to ensure that transnational cases are processed faster. The demand was part of a non-binding resolution approved in the European Parliament last week.

In the text, approved by a show of hands, MEPs recommended closing legal loopholes in the Brussels II regulation on family law, ahead of an upcoming review.

More specifically:

  • Parliament wants EU Member States to designate specialised chambers within family courts or cross-border mediation bodies to ensure that transnational child-related cases are processed swiftly. These cases involve a wide range of scenarios, from forcibly placing children in another Member State to abductions of children by parents and custody disputes in national courts involving parents of different EU nationalities.
  • MEPs called on Member States to improve their legal cooperation, and for the EU Commission to help provide clear information to all EU citizens on child related legal proceedings such as parents rights in different EU countries. Parliament also stresses that children caught up in cross-border family disputes have the right to maintain regular and direct contact with their parents, unless this proves harmful to them. To this end, EU countries should guarantee regular visiting rights for parents while proceedings are under way and also allow them to use their own native tongue with their children during visits, says the text.
  • EU Member States and the Commission should also lay down rules to ensure that adoption decisions taken in each country are recognised by the others, so as to avoid bureaucratic objections, say MEPs.
  • Parliament says that non-consensual adoption, or any other fostering arrangement, should give children the best possible opportunity to maintain links with their cultural backgrounds and to learn and use their mother tongues. MEPs also called on Member States to make every effort to avoid separating siblings in forced placement cases.


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