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Consultation on the functioning of the Brussels IIa Regulation (EC 2201/2003)


Policy field(s)

  • Civil Justice

Who can reply to this consultation?

All citizens, organisations and public authorities are welcome to contribute to this consultation 

Period of consultation

From 15 April 2014 until 18 July 2014

Purpose of the consultation

Disputes on family matters have increased in the EU due to the growing mobility of citizens and the rising number of international families, notably families whose members are of different nationalities, live in different EU countries or live in an EU country of which one or more of them are not nationals.

The Brussels IIa Regulation  (hereafter "the Regulation") is the cornerstone of European Union (hereafter "the EU") judicial cooperation in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility. The Regulation applies since 1 March 2005 in all EU countries except Denmark.

The Regulation determinates in cross-border situations the responsible court for spouses who want to divorce, separate or annul their marriage. In relations between children and their parents, whether they are married or not, the Regulation determines the responsible court to settle parental responsibility disputes including custody and visiting rights, primarily aiming at the protection of the best interests of the child. In cases of cross-border parental child abduction the Regulation makes available a procedure to return the child to the place of his or her habitual residence.

In addition, the Regulation prevents parallel proceedings before the courts of different EU countries and aims at ensuring the free circulation of judgments, authentic instruments or agreements, based on the mutual trust among EU countries.

The Commission has recently launched a review of the functioning of the Regulation. To this end, it has published a report on its application. The results of the present consultation will feed an overall assessment of the instrument.

How to submit your contribution

This consultation questionnaire can be filled out online only; alternatively replies can be submitted on paper to the address indicated below. It is not necessary to answer all questions. All contributions will be published on the website of the European Commission, provided that respondents clearly identify themselves. Please read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

View the consultation document

Access the consultation questionnaire.

Published results:

 Contributions submitted in the framework of the consultation:

Mr Zinserpdf(148 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 

Reference document

COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000

Contact details

Responsible service:  DG Justice, Unit A1 – Civil Justice Policy


Postal address:  European Commission, Directorate-general Justice
Unit A 1 Civil Justice Policy - Secretariat
Rue Montoyer 59, 2/84   1049 BRUSSELS, Belgium

Data Protection Disclaimer

Incoming contributions will be published on the Commission website. It is possible to request that submissions remain confidential. In this case, contributors should expressly state in their submission that they oppose publication.

For further information on privacy rulings for this public consultation see the following Specific Privacy Statementpdf(21 kB) Choose translations of the previous link .