Under Council Regulation (EC) No. 2201/2003 (Brussels IIA Regulation), which has been in force since 1 March 2005, replacing Council Regulation (EC) No. 1347/2000, all decisions on parental responsibility including measures to protect the child, regardless of whether there is any link with a matrimonial proceeding or whether the children belong to both spouses, shall be automatically recognised in the other EU member states (with the exception of Denmark) without the need for a special recognition procedure.
For such a judgement to be enforced, it must also be enforceable in the member state in which it was made. It must also have been served properly. It shall be enforced upon application by the interested party, after it has been declared enforceable in the member state in which enforcement is sought, upon application by the party concerned. In the United Kingdom, the judgement must also have been previously registered.
The Regulation has dispensed with the proceedings for the issue of a declaration of enforceability for certain decisions on rights of access and certain decisions ordering the return of the child. Such decisions may be enforced without a prior declaration of enforceability in other EU member states (with the exception of Denmark). This is conditional on the courts issuing documentation as evidence of compliance with certain minimum procedural standards in connection with their decisions.
The Regulation takes precedence over the above-mentioned Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction of 25 October 1980 insofar as it governs areas covered by the Regulation, such as matters concerning recognition, enforcement and competence. The Convention retains its validity for the legal areas not covered by the Regulation.
The Regulation is also valid in the new EU member states. However, transitional regulations apply.
For further information, please contact:
Bundesamt für Justiz (Federal Office of Justice)
Adenauerallee 99 – 103
Tel: 0228 99 410 40 or 0228 99 410 5212
Fax: 0228 410 99 5050 or 0228 410 99 5401
which is available as your point of contact as the Central Authority for implementing this Regulation.