Navigation path

Brussels IIa Regulation: A report by the European Commission sheds light on problems of international families


A report published by the European Commission today highlights legal problems that international couples (spouses from different nationalities) still face across Europe when they try to resolve cross-border disputes concerning their marriage or the custody of their children.

The growing mobility of citizens within the European Union has led to an increasing number of families whose members are of different nationalities, live in different EU countries or live in an EU country of which some of them may not be nationals. When families separate, cross-border judicial cooperation is necessary to give children a secure legal environment to maintain relations with both parents or guardians who may live in another Member State. The report published today underlines that more needs to be done to help international families find legal clarity in such situations (for example on which court is competent).

The European Commission is therefore kicking off a wide public consultation on possible solutions, as well as a campaign to raise awareness of what help and rules exist in case international families decide to separate. Everyone interested can submit contributions to the consultation here. The consultation will run until 18 July.

Press Release - IP/14/451

Report on the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgements in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000pdf(242 kB) Choose translations of the previous link