Europe’s pro-family groups are organizing against the EU Commission’s push for a certificate of parenthood.
Last year, the Commission proposed an EU-wide certificate recognizing a parent-child relationship. This would help to ease the administrative burden for families caught in cross-border situations where legal documents certifying the relationship of a minor to a parent may not be easily recognised between member states.
However, family law is not a competency of the EU, and opponents warn that it could also facilitate surrogacy arrangements made by European families in other countries, force member states to recognise same-sex marriages, and diminish protections for children.
Under the draft directive, obtaining a certificate of parenthood would only require a simple administrative process. Significantly, the language of the draft eschews the legal terms of parentage or filiation for parenthood.
Under the umbrella organization Europe for Family, members of pro-family groups throughout the bloc met with MEP Margarita de la Pisa Carrión last week to discuss where the directive stands and how to take action against it.
Carrión, a member of the ECR group, sits on the FEMM (Women’s Rights and Gender Equality) committee and wrote the opinion on the Commission’s proposal, doing her best to ameliorate its potential damage. She explained that although the proposed directive is highly unlikely to be approved by the EU Council, particularly as it requires unanimity, it’s still important to mobilize against it.
“France, Italy, Poland,” she said listing countries that would oppose the proposal on the council. “There are countries that even have same-sex marriage that don’t support this.”
She also advised that now is the time for wider society to speak up.
“Now the citizens and civil society can say something,” she said. “They can push their governments and increase the debate on this issue.”
As the proposed measure will go before justice ministers since it deals with family law, pro-family groups and individual citizens are encouraged to lobby their national justice ministers against the parenthood certificate.
They can also continue to register their dissent with MEPs, as the parliament’s negotiating stance will likely be voted on by the plenary in November.