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

On 27 April, MEPs adopted a non-binding resolution promoting measures to better protect the best interests of children in cross-border parental custody disputes, adoption decisions and abductions by parents within the EU.

By adopting the resolution, MEPs 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. The resolution follows hundreds of petitions on child-related cases received by the European Parliament's Petitions Committee.

As a children's rights champion, Julie welcomed the adoption of the resolution. Julie's contribution to the debate focused on the importance of children's participation in decisions that concern and impact them. Participation is also a children’s right, but it is frequently infringed and poorly promoted. Working with organisations experienced in child participation is, in Julie's view, a good way to develop institutional practice that would better protect the best interests of the child.

Watch Julie's speech