European justice needs to fully protect the rights and the best interests of children
by Roxana Lazarescu
The European Union is home to an ever-increasing number of international families. Which also means that the number of cross-border disputes on family matters has increased. There are about 140,000 international divorces per year in the EU and around 1,800 cases of parental child abduction.
The Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament strongly advocates for children’s well-being and believes that the future life arrangements and their rights should be respected and implemented in full and their best interests should be given priority.
For that, the European justice system needs to adapt and embrace child-friendly practices and standards for the entire Union. In a report adopted today by the European Parliament, Renew Europe calls on the Commission to present a set of common guidelines to ensure that the hearing of children is conducted in a friendly setting and is appropriate for their age and maturity.
As regards cross-border civil disputes, we call on the Member States to effectively enforce judgments in disputes concerning children, especially in cases related to cross-border parental child abductions and decisions related to the recognition of parenthood of same-sex couples.
MEP Adrián VÁZQUEZ LÁZARA (Ciudadanos, Spain) is the Renew Europe rapporteur:
“With this report, the European Parliament takes the first of many steps to ensure that no more couples of fathers or mothers, have to suffer to see how the fact of moving from one Member State to another deprives them to be the family that they already are in their day-to-day life”.
Renew Europe also calls on the Commission to put forward a new proposal for a regulation on cross-border mediation. The Member States need to establish pre-mediation offices to provide parents with all the information they need about the conduct of mediation and its possible costs and benefits.