Subject: MOTION FOR A EU-RESOLUTION: Germany does not respect EU law
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2008 21:43:06 +0200
To: fr4 groupe , papachris belge vict allemagne



The European Parliament,

- having regard to Article 12 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, in conjunction with Article 21 (Non-discrimination) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000, which prohibit all discrimination on grounds of nationality, as well as Article 3 of the future Lisbon Treaty, which states that the Union 'shall combat [...] discrimination and shall promote [...] protection of the rights of the child' and, in particular, that 'in its relations with the wider world, the Union shall [...] contribute to [...] the protection of human rights, in particular the rights of the child',

- having regard to Article 13(1) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, under which Parliament may take action to combat all discrimination based on sex or racial or ethnic origin in Member States,

- having regard to Article 251 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, in conjunction with Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, empowering the Council to call on any Member State guilty of breaches of democratic principles and human rights to take appropriate steps,

- having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, with particular reference to Article 9 thereof, covering compliance with judgments on child access rights,

- having regard to Article 11 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003, in conjunction with the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980, on securing the prompt return of children wrongfully removed from a Member State,

- having regard to the United Nations Convention of 20 November 1989 on the Rights of the Child and the protocols thereto,

- having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which establishes four fundamental principles, namely: protection against all forms of discrimination; the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration; the right to life and to development; and the right to freedom of expression;

- having regard to its resolution of 14 June 2006 on non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all - a framework strategy,

- having regard to Article 24(3) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which states that 'every child shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis a personal relationship and direct contact with both his or her parents, unless that is contrary to his or her interests',

- having regard to Article 24 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in conjunction with Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which guarantee children a right of 'participation' ensuring that their experiences and views are taken into consideration on all matters which concern them, and guarantee that that rights is not subject to any conditions or restrictions,

- having regard to the Hague Convention of 19 October 1996 on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Cooperation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children,

- having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2008: Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child, with particular reference to paragraph 29 thereof, which states that 'a strategy on the rights of the child must include provisions to promote the welfare of families' and paragraph 116 thereof, which calls on 'the Member States to remove all restrictions on the right of parents to have contact with their children resulting from nationality differences, particularly in connection with the choice to speak a language other than the official language within a given country; takes the view that the removal of restrictions on multinational families in which there is a conflict between the parents should entail unrestricted freedom to speak in the language chosen by the child and the parent',

- having regard to its declaration of 13 November 2007 on 'dys'crimination and social exclusion affecting children with 'dys'abilities, calling for special treatment for children with 'dys'-type disabilities, </OptDel>

- having regard to Rule 115 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas on 30 January 2007, during a meeting of Parliament's Committee on Petitions, a Commission representative said that the Jugendamt (German youth welfare agency) was guilty of violations of Article 12 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, which prohibits all discrimination on grounds of nationality,

B. whereas, in a letter of 10 January 2008 pointing to the wholly positive effect that bilingualism has on the development of children, Leonard Orban, Commissioner with responsibility for multilingualism, stated that the Commission takes a positive approach to bilingualism and a multilingual upbringing, which it considers to be an important part of the European project and inter-cultural dialogue,

C. having regard to the Commission document entitled 'A new framework strategy for multilingualism', which states that language is the most direct expression of culture and that respect for the individual, openness towards other cultures, tolerance and acceptance of others and respect for linguistic diversity are core values of the European Union, and to the opinion on the multiple benefits of a multilingual upbringing for young people (Report EAC 89/04),

D. having regard to the 'Preliminary Inventory of EU Actions Affecting Children's Rights' published by the Union in connection with the work on the document entitled 'Towards an EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child', with particular reference to section 1.5 thereof, which points to the importance of ensuring that the child is heard in matters concerning it, particularly in legal proceedings relating to international child abductions, and section 1.6, pointing to the need to ensure that contact is maintained with both parents,

E. whereas the report entitled 'Review of the Implementation of Brussels II regulation in relation to parental abduction of children' that was produced by the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer organisation on 31 October 2006 states that in many Member States violations of the right of the child to have access to both parents and of the right of the left-behind parent to have a fair trial have been recorded and gives 12 examples of parental child abduction, seven of them to Germany,

F. whereas the Bamberg Declaration adopted in the framework of the international symposium on 'German youth welfare offices and European Convention on Human Rights' chaired by Annelise Oeschger, president of the Conference of International Non-Governmental Organisations of the Council of Europe (Bamberg, 20-21 October 2007), which was forwarded to the EP Committee on Petitions, stated in relation to the Jugendamt that: 'instead of arranging a rapid return of the child, the child very often gets alienated from parents by direct manipulation of the child and/or by procrastination of the proceedings by the youth welfare office and the courts'; that 'it is often made impossible for parents to assert the rights they are entitled to even after a withdrawal of custody (e.g. contact with schools and a right to say, consent to medical procedures, religious education)'; and that 'in numerous cases parents are not allowed to communicate with the children in their native language or the children are barred from speaking in their mother tongue' and may be subjected to physical punishment if they do,

G. whereas during the EP Committee on Petitions meeting of 7 June 2007, Gila Schindler, speaking on behalf of the German Government, acknowledged that the Jugendamt in Hamburg had not acted in accordance with the law in prohibiting the use of Polish during a meeting between a father and his children, stating that the parent involved, a Mr Pomorski, wished to speak to his daughters in Polish, as he usually did, but the Jugendamt forcefully insisted that German be used, thus infringing Mr Pomorski's rights, because the agency's conduct was neither proper nor legal; whereas Mrs Schindler said she was very sorry for what had happened and stated that the Jugendamt had no right to interfere in family law and that, on the contrary, its role was to ensure that decisions handed down by family courts were duly implemented,

H. whereas the Jugendamt's responsibilities have been further increased by the German federal authorities, as evidenced by an amendment to Article 6 of the German Constitution, which gives the state the role of 'primary parent', stating that every child has the right to develop its personality, to an upbringing free of violence and to specific protection against violence, neglect and exploitation, and that it is the state's role to respect, protect and promote the rights of the child's rights and ensure that it lives in an environment that meets its needs,

I. whereas the German Minister of Justice, Brigitte Zypries, has acknowledged that violations of a child's right to choose the language in which it communicates with its parents have occurred, stated that, while a bilingual upbringing, irrespective of the other language involved, is seen as positive and worthy of support in Germany, it may not in some individual cases be in the interests of the child and in such cases it is the duty of the courts - when duly applied to - to determine what form the child's upbringing should take in the future,