Report on the application of Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgements in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2014) 225
Publication Date 15/04/2014
Content Type ,


Report presented on 15 April 2014 by the European Commission on judicial cooperation in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility.

Further information:

Regulation No 1347/2000 laying down rules on jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments on divorce, separation and marriage annulment as well as judgments on parental responsibility for the children of both spouses was the first Union instrument adopted in the area of judicial cooperation in family law matters. The Regulation was repealed by Regulation No 2201/2003 (commonly known as the Brussels IIa Regulation). This Regulation is the cornerstone of Union judicial cooperation in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility. It applies since 1 March 2005 to all Member States except Denmark.

The Regulation provides for uniform rules to settle conflicts of jurisdiction between Member States and facilitates the free circulation of judgments, authentic instruments and agreements in the Union by laying down provisions on their recognition and enforcement in another Member State. It complements the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and lays down specific rules with regard to its relation with several provisions provided for in the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children.

This report follows the structure of the Regulation by reviewing in separate sections the provisions on jurisdiction, recognition and enforceability of judgments and cooperation between Member States' Central Authorities. The report also focusses more specifically on a number of cross-cutting issues, namely the return of the child in cases of parental abduction, the enforcement of judgments and the placement of a child in another Member State. The report is a first assessment of the application of the Regulation to date and does not purport to be exhaustive.


The growing mobility of citizens within the Union has led to an increasing number of families with an international dimension, notably families whose members are of different nationalities, live in different Member States or live in a Member State of which one or more of them are not nationals. According to Article 81 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Union adopts measures in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters having cross-border implications. Where families break up, such cooperation is particularly necessary to give children a secure legal environment to maintain relations with persons who have parental responsibility over them and may live in another Member State.

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Related Links
European Commission: Press Release, 15/04/2014: European Commission sheds light on problems of international families and consults on further action
European Commission: Speech, 15/04/2014: Making sure European Area of Justice works for international couples and their children

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