Key facts of the case:
Reference for a preliminary ruling — Urgent preliminary ruling procedure — Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of decisions in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility — International child abduction — Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 — Article 11 — Application for return — Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 — Application for a declaration of enforceability — Appeal — Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Article 47 — Right to an effective remedy — Time limit for bringing the appeal — Order authorising enforcement — Enforcement prior to service of the order
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (First Chamber) hereby rules:
- The general provisions of Chapter III of 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, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000, must be interpreted as meaning that, where it is alleged that children have been wrongfully removed, the decision of a court of the Member State in which those children were habitually resident, directing that those children be returned and which is entailed by a decision dealing with parental responsibility, may be declared enforceable in the host Member State in accordance with those general provisions.
- Article 33(1) of Regulation No 2201/2003, read in the light of Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as precluding, in a situation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, enforcement of a decision of a court of a Member State which directs that children be made wards of court and that they be returned and which is declared enforceable in the requested Member State, prior to service of the declaration of enforceability of that decision on the parents concerned. Article 33(5) of Regulation No 2201/2003 must be interpreted as meaning that the period for lodging an appeal laid down in that provision may not be extended by the court seised.
- Regulation No 2201/2003 must be interpreted as not precluding, in a situation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, a court of one Member State from adopting protective measures in the form of an injunction directed at a public body of another Member State, preventing that body from commencing or continuing, before the courts of that other Member State, proceedings for the adoption of children who are residing there.