Parent in One Member State, Parent in All Member States: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. Rainbow families’ parental rights in the EU: charting progress through law and politics. – II.1. From courtrooms to Commission: the evolution of LGBTIQ parenthood recognition in EU law. – II.2. Political strategy of the Regulation proposal. – III. Concerns on the efficiency of the EU legislative mechanism. – III.1. The ambiguity of “EU value driven policy”. – III.2. The TFEU as an unexpected obstacle. – III.3. The Regulation proposal at an impasse: which alternatives? – IV. Conclusion.

Abstract: The EU is known for its commitment to protecting the fundamental rights of same-sex couples as outlined in art. 10 TFEU and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (Charter) within its value-driven principles. Nevertheless, same-sex couples still face discrimination in forming families. Only 14 out of 27 Member States allow same-sex marriage, seven offer some form of recognition, and the other six offer no recognition at all. To address this issue, the European Commission has proposed a legal instrument which would introduce uniform rules for jurisdiction and applicable law in matters of parenthood, with the goal of ensuring recognition of parental rights for rainbow families across the EU. While the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union have made significant efforts to legally protect LGBTIQ individuals, the EU’s ability to act in the face of anti-LGBTIQ legal and social climates is still being questioned. This Article will examine the contents of the Commission’s legislative proposal, its political strategy, and the practical obstacles to its adoption, including legal mechanisms and political situations in certain Member States. The effectiveness, practicability, and sustainability of the proposal will also be evaluated. The goal is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the Commission’s efforts to promote and protect the rights of same-sex couples in the EU.

Keywords: LGBTIQ parenthood rights – rainbow families – EU fundamental values – legislative initiative – jurisdiction – applicable law.

European Papers, Vol. 8, 2023, No 3, pp. 1555-1574
ISSN 2499-8249
- doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/730

* PhD candidate, University of Strasbourg,
** PhD candidate, University of Strasbourg,


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