European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Families, Partners, Children and the European Union, April 2003

ILGA-Europe's policy paper on how various aspects of EU law are impacting upon national rules relating to 'personal status' in its broader sense.

This Policy paper is available in 5 languages.

Issues such as marriage, partnership and parenting have been traditionally treated as falling within national
legal competence and hence outside the powers of the European Union. However, this situation is now
rapidly changing. The boundaries between national and EU competences have gradually blurred over time.
The Union is now committed to promoting social inclusion through policies in a wide range of fields such as
employment, education, healthcare and housing. Moreover, the creation of the “Area of Freedom, Security and Justice” has demanded much greater involvement of the Union in the coordination of civil law systems,
including family law. In this policy paper, we examine how various aspects of EU law are impacting upon national rules relating to “personal status” in its broadest sense.