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On 30 November 2010 the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs will host in Brussels an interparliamentary workshop on Civil Justice, organized in collaboration with the national parliaments of the Member States: How to facilitate the life of European families and citizens?. The conference is structured in 4 parts, and can be watched live in video streaming on the EP’s website:

Morning Sessions (h 9.30 – 13.00):

  • Opening
  • I. Family Law: Latest Developments and the Way Forward;
  • II. Cross-Border Successions.

Afternoon Sessions (h 15 – 18.30):

  • III. Parental Responsibility and the Protection Of Children;
  • IV. Civil Status;
  • Conclusions.

Each session will include speakers from the EP, national parliaments and the Commission, as well as the academic world and practitioners: a detailed draft programme is available here.

Here’s a presentation of the event:

Removing the legal and administrative barriers that citizens face when they start a family life in a Member State other than their own will be at the centre of the Workshop on Civil Justice which will take place in the European Parliament on 30 November.

The Workshop, which will be attended by EU and national parlamentarians, will be composed of four thematic sessions. The first two sessions will present the “state of play” in the drafting of new legal instruments in the field of European family law and the law of succession.

The third session will focus on child protection in cross-border situations. The topics of parental responsibility, including the controversial issue of the recognition of surrogacy agreements, as well as of international adoption will be addressed therein. Legal practitioners and academics will report on the current situation as it stands in several Member States.

The last session will provide an overview of the current difficulties faced by citizens in proving their civil status in cross-border situations. In this regard, a number of actions ranging from the suppression of the legalisation formalities of civil status acts to the interconnection of civil status registers will be presented. The challenging idea of creating a European “civil status” document will also be discussed.

Finally, the Workshop will  also include speeches from Melchior Wathelet, Belgian State Secretary for Family Policy, on the achievements of the Belgian Presidency in the field of family law and Viviane Reding, European Commission (EC) Vice-President, on the actions planned by the EC in this field.

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