Poland to veto EU proposal recognising cross-border rights of same-sex parents

Poland will seek to block the European Commission's plans to protect the rights of same-sex parents across EU borders.

Pride march in Poland, which is set to veto plans to recognise the rights of same-sex parents across EU borders.
Image: Via Twitter - @benjaaquila

According to a deputy justice minister, Poland will veto the European Commission’s plans to guarantee the cross-border recognition of parenthood, including the rights of same-sex parents, across all EU member states.

Last week, on December 8, the European Commission adopted a proposal that aims to guarantee that parenthood established in one of the member states is recognised in all other EU countries. If enacted, the rights of same-sex parents and their children will be protected even in countries where they are not enshrined in national legislation.

Although it would only apply to cases in which parenthood is already established by an EU country, the European Commission estimated that the initiative could potentially benefit up to two million children. In order to be enacted, the proposal now needs to be adopted unanimously by the Council, after consultations with the European Parliament.

As reported by Notes from Poland, Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro had already sought to block the move when the plans were discussed in Brussels last year and, commenting on the adoption of the proposal last week, one of his deputies, Sebastian Kaleta, said that “as long as [this] government is at the helm in Poland, this document will never come into force”.

Kaleta went on to claim that the plans would make “the rights of western Europe… binding in Poland”, which would “open the way to further regulations of family law”, such as recognising same-sex marriages or introducing the idea that there are “dozens of ‘genders’”.

Speaking of the Commission’s plans, EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders acknowledged that it might be hard to “convince all 27 EU countries” to support them. He also explained that, in case that is not possible, they “will see if there are opportunities to go further with ‘enhanced cooperation’”.

The European Commission’s proposal follows various legal disputes brought to courts by same-sex couples whose rights are recognised in one EU state but not in another. One example happened in Poland, where in 2019 the Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the same-sex parents of a child born in the UK could not transcribe his birth certificate into the Polish civil registry. According to the judges, recognising the parenthood rights of the same-sex couple would be “a threat to the Polish legal order”.

According to the European Commission’s Vice President, Věra Jourová, such lack of recognition “puts children at risk, as they would not have guaranteed access to their rights”. Jourová explained that the Commission’s plans seek to ensure that “when a family moves from one member state to another, they remain a family”.

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