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European Commission’s unlawful attempt at interfering in family law. Petition of Ordo Iuris

Published: 30.04.2021

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The European Union announced works on a document demanding from Member States to acknowledge foreign adoptions of children by single-sex partnerships. According to EC plans, such provisions could be implemented as a regulation, which would be binding on all EU members. This would be contrary to the national law of several states, including Poland. The Ordo Iuris Institute has drawn up a petition to the EC authorities calling for them to abandon these plans. A wide international coalition of pro-family organisations is emerging in opposition to the violation of the law of sovereign states.

 

In September 2020, EC President Ursula von der Leyen stated: “If you are a parent in one country, you are a parent in every country.” In order to pursue the plans she spoke of, the Commission has just announced the commencement of works on the Regulation on the recognition of parenthood between Member States. Importantly enough, based on EU treaties, substantive family law is the exclusive competence of Member States.

 

The implementation of changes postulated by Ursula von der Leyen would in practice mean that adoption by same-sex couples in countries where legislation provides for such a possibility would also be recognised in those EU countries where the law does not allow it. This is to be achieved by introducing common compatibility rules for conflicting provisions of national family law, as well as by obliging Member States to recognise judgements in parenting cases issued by courts from other states. In this way, the EU could (completely unlawfully) interfere in the substantive family law of individual states. For instance, although its national law does not allow it, Poland would have to recognise the ‘parenthood’ of two males approved in another country, e.g. based on a court judgement.

 

The proposed changes also involve the so-called optional European certificate of parenthood. It would be an alternative formal certificate of birth. As intended by the Commission, it would most probably apply in countries such as Poland, which do not accept the EU attempts at interfering in internal law.

 

“The European Commission with its present composition becomes an institution appropriating more and more competences. Above all, however, instead of protecting the Member States and respecting their diversity, it tries to impose on them in an unauthorised way solutions that are radically inconsistent with the EU treaty law and the constitutions of individual states. The Commission’s plans must meet with our strong response, so we call on everyone to sign our petition. Our actions need to go beyond the Polish borders, and we want to initiate the creation of an international coalition of community organisations that are against the Commission’s initiative,” emphasised Katarzyna Gęsiak, analyst in the Ordo Iuris International Law Centre.

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