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Making life easier for European families - Diana

November 30, 2010 5:12 PM
Originally published by Diana Wallis

Diana with Commissioner Reding in front of waiting media after today's Interparliamentary forum on civil justiceLife in a mobile Europe is not as simple as it should or could be, according to Diana who is working towards greater cooperation among EU member states in the field of family law.

The EU's right of free movement is very popular among its citizens. In 2009, over 12 million people from all member states took the opportunity to live, study and work abroad.

However, family life in a different country can often prove a little bit more complicated than expected: getting married or divorced, having children or even death triggers different legal and administrative responses and requirements in Europe's 27 member states.

Opening a Interparliamentary forum on civil justice on how to remove legal and administrative barriers with regard to family issues, Diana said:

"Even though there is a great strive to put European citizens at the heart of EU policy making, today it is still easier to move a sack of potatoes and other goods around Europe than real people.

"Two thirds of respondents to the latest Eurobarometer survey feel that the EU should take initiatives in cross-border family law.

"Making life easier for European families is not about harmonising our different legal systems. It is about finding ways to recognise and respect different systems and further real trust and cooperation between them.

"I hope that in the UK, the new Coalition Government will look closely at these cross-border family issues and reconsider the position taken by the previous Government not to participate in an enhanced European cooperation on divorce."

Eurobarometer on Civil Justice, published October 2010:

http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_351_en.pdf

(Pic show Diana with Commissioner Reding in front of waiting media after today's Interparliamentary forum on civil justice)