Brussels II Regulation 2003
CHAPTER IV COOPERATION BETWEEN CENTRAL AUTHORITIES IN MATTERS OF PARENTAL
Article 53 of the Brussels II Regulation
Designation [Article 53 BR II]
Each Member State shall designate one or more central
authorities to assist with the application of this Regulation and
shall specify the geographical or functional jurisdiction of each.
Where a Member State has designated more than one central authority,
communications shall normally be sent direct to the relevant central
authority with jurisdiction. Where a communication is sent to a
central authority without jurisdiction, the latter shall be responsible
for forwarding it to the central authority with jurisdiction and
informing the sender accordingly.
Each Member State shall designate one central authority. These may be
existing authorities entrusted with the application of international conventions
in this area.
Article 54 of the Brussels II Regulation
General functions [Article 54 BR II]
54 General functions
The central authorities shall communicate information
on national laws and procedures and take measures to improve the
application of this Regulation and strengthening their cooperation.
For this purpose the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial
matters created by Decision No 2001/470/EC shall be used.
In the first place, as members of the European Judicial Network, the
Central Authorities work on an information system and discuss issues of
common interest and their methods of cooperation. In this context they
may also develop best practices on family mediation or facilitate the
networking of organizations working in this area.
Article 55 of the Brussels II Regulation
Cooperation on cases specific to parental responsibility [Article 55 BR
55 Cooperation on cases specific to parental responsibility
The central authorities shall, upon request from
a central authority of another Member State or from a holder of
parental responsibility, cooperate on specific cases to achieve
the purposes of this Regulation. To this end, they shall, acting
directly or through public authorities or other bodies, take all
appropriate steps in accordance with the law of that Member State
in matters of personal data protection to:
(a) collect and exchange information:
(i) on the situation of the child;
(ii) on any procedures under way; or
(iii) on decisions taken concerning the child;
(b) provide information and assistance to holders
of parental responsibility seeking the recognition and enforcement
of decisions on their territory, in particular concerning rights
of access and the return of the child;
(c) facilitate communications between courts, in
particular for the application of Article 11(6) and (7) and Article
(d) provide such information and assistance as
is needed by courts to apply Article 56; and
(e) facilitate agreement between holders of parental
responsibility through mediation or other means, and facilitate
cross-border cooperation to this end.
The specific duties of the Central Authorities are listed in Article
55 BR II. They include facilitating court-to-court communications, which
will be necessary in particular where a case is transferred from one court
to another (See Chapters III and VII). In these cases, the Central Authorities
will serve as a link between the national courts and the central authorities
of other Member States.
Most importantly, Central Authorities assume an active role for the purpose
of ensuring the effective exercise of rights of parental responsibility
in specific cases, within the limits placed on their action by national
law. Hence, they share information, give advice, promote mediation, and
facilitate court-to-court communications. They play a particularly important
role in cases of child abduction, where they have an obligation to locate
and return the child, including where necessary to institute proceedings
for this purpose.
Article 56 of the Brussels II Regulation
Placement of a child in another Member State [Article 56 BR II]
56 Placement of a child in another Member State
- 1. Where a court having jurisdiction
under Articles 8 to 15 contemplates the placement of a child in
institutional care or with a foster family and where such placement
is to take place in another Member State, it shall first consult
the central authority or other authority having jurisdiction in
the latter State where public authority intervention in that Member
State is required for domestic cases of child placement.
- 2. The judgment on placement referred to in paragraph
1 may be made in the requesting State only if the competent authority
of the requested State has consented to the placement.
- 3. The procedures for consultation or consent
referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be governed by the national
law of the requested State.
- 4. Where the authority having jurisdiction under
Articles 8 to 15 decides to place the child in a foster family,
and where such placement is to take place in another Member State
and where no public authority intervention is required in the latter
Member State for domestic cases of child placement, it shall so
inform the central authority or other authority having jurisdiction
in the latter State.
The seised court of a Member State, having jurisdiction under Section
2 of Chapter II over matters of parental responsibility, may think it's
in the best interest of the child to place it in institutional care or
with a foster family. Usually this is done in an institution or with a
foster family domiciled in that same State. However, sometimes it's necessary
to place the child in an institution or with a foster family in another
Member State, for instance because the child is present there or has more
connections with that State. In such event the court which has the intention
to place the child in another Meber State, must consult firstly the Central
Authorities of that other Member State. Only when the requested authorities
of that other Member State, where the child is to be placed, have consented
therein, the court may give a judgment for the placement of the child
in institutional care or with a foster family in that other Member State.
Article 57 of the Brussels II Regulation
Working method [Article 57 BR II]
57 Working method
- 1. Any holder of parental responsibility
may submit, to the central authority of the Member State of his
or her habitual residence or to the central authority of the Member
State where the child is habitually resident or present, a request
for assistance as mentioned in Article 55. In general, the request
shall include all available information of relevance to its enforcement.
Where the request for assistance concerns the recognition or enforcement
of a judgment on parental responsibility that falls within the scope
of this Regulation, the holder of parental responsibility shall
attach the relevant certificates provided for in Articles 39, 41(1)
- 2. Member States shall communicate to the Commission
the official language or languages of the Community institutions
other than their own in which communications to the central authorities
can be accepted.
- 3. The assistance provided by the central authorities
pursuant to Article 55 shall be free of charge.
- 4. Each central authority shall bear its own
The ability to work in other languages and the provision of services
free of charge are very important considerations for facilitating access
to the central authorities.
Article 58 of the Brussels II Regulation
Meetings [Article 58 BR II]
- 1. In order to facilitate the
application of this Regulation, central authorities shall meet regularly.
- 2. These meetings shall be convened in compliance
with Decision No 2001/470/EC establishing a European Judicial Network
in civil and commercial matters.
It is also foreseen to use the network to hold meetings of the Central