A regulation proposal offering recognition of parenthood between EU member states, was recently adopted by the European Commission.
The proposal, which focuses on the best interests and rights of children, will provide legal clarity for all types of families who may find themselves in a cross-border situation within the EU.
One of the key aspects of the proposal is that parenthood established in an EU member state should be recognized in all the other member states without any special procedure.
Once applicable, the regulation will strengthen the EU law rights of free movement and equal treatment, and simplify plans for families intending to move to another EU member state, for travel, to reside, visit family members or handle private property.
According to the European Commission, union law as interpreted by the European Court of Justice, already provides that parenthood established in a member state should be recognized in all the other member states for purposes like access to the territory, right of residence, and non-discrimination with the nationals.
However, this is not the case for the rights derived from national law.
Its proposed regulation will allow children in cross border situations to benefit from the rights derived from parenthood under national law, in matters such as succession, maintenance and custody or the right of parents to act as legal representative of the child (for schooling or health matters).
“Our proposal will allow all children and families to enjoy the rights derived from parenthood under national law in all EU member states, once their parenthood has been established in one member state,” said EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders.
Reynder’s statement echoed Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s 2020 State of the Union speech where she stated that, “if you are parent in one country, you are parent in every country”.
The Commission’s proposal has to be adopted unanimously by the EU Council, after consulting the European Parliament. Five years after the regulation becomes applicable, the Commission is expected to evaluate its application by member states and propose possible amendments.