Page last updated at 17:28 GMT, Monday, 19 November 2012

Question on child abduction

The Council of Ministers, which represents EU governments, has been accused of playing an "inappropriate power game" in blocking reforms to an international agreement on tackling child abductions, during a debate on 19 November 2012.

The 1980 Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction establishes a common system allowing the speedy return of abducted children to their proper country of residence.

The European Commission wants the EU to allow eight non-EU countries - including Russia - to become signatories to the convention.

However, the Council of Ministers is blocking this proposal, with some EU governments claiming that these decisions should be taken at a member state level.

Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding was critical of the Council, saying that many cases of child abduction may be being affected by the delay.

Due to technical reasons beyond our control we regret that we are unable to provide the video of the start of this debate.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.

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