008 – European Parliament – Committee on Petition – “Beistandschaft of the Jugendamt”

The petition against the German administrative measure of the BEISTANDSCHAFT (pronounce: “By-Staand-Tschaaft”) of the JUGENDAMT – an 11 pages document – was written by me, together with some other members of my organization CEED  (Conseil Européen des Enfants du Divorce). CEED is an organization that gathers numerous parents of various nationalities, who all lost their rights, their children, their money, and finally their dignity and liberty, as an unwitting contribution, to the economic welfare of the limited liability company “Germany” (the so called Economic German BUND lead by Wolfgang Schäuble).

The Beistandschaft is the key instrument used by a German local political entity -the JUGENDAMT (pronounce: ‘You-Guenn-Taamt’) – to hedge secretly, in advance and definitely, the final outcome of ANY procedure of German family law.

As my petition was introduced to the European Parliament, the German Government launched a european wide campaign of diffemation, criminalization and persecution, which brought me for 4 years in jail.

Many others were assaulted and threatened heavily (Meike Langenhan – D, Konstantin Theocharidis – GR, Rebecca Saruhan – TUR, Dr Luc Gigou – F, Joumana Gebara – LBN, Dr Jean-Paul Pennera – F and many others), condemned to pay fines (Beata Pokrzeptowicz – PL) or even jailed (Kimberly Hines – US, Lionel Gilberti – F, Silvia Kalina – D, Dr Marinella Colombo – ) for short time.

A political process was hold on purpose in the dependent “Gau-Region” Italy (lead at this time by Merkel’s gouverneur Premier Mario Monti) to declare CEED a criminal organization, to make ineffective (for us) any legal mean of defense, to avoid any publicity and, last but not least, to allow the Germans to keep on their terrific angelic immaculacy; In facts, not the German Governement did condemned us, but the Europeans themselves. They legalized this way an arbitrarian, ultra nationalistic and highly discriminatory German administrative measure and made it jurisprudency for the entire European Union. 

Following parlamentary work was then promoted by Dr Marinella Colombo (Milan) who was confronted with a lot a difficulties and threats to circumvent german hostility.

Olivier Karrer
CEED Paris

Please see my conclusions below, following these 3 Parlamentary questions raised by italian representatives and the 3 answers given by the European Commission to the topic (the first answer is available only in french).

eu_vignette_parlement2 Parliamentary questions – QUESTION 1
28 June 2013
Question for written answer to the Commission – Rule 117

Patrizia Toia (S&D) , Roberta Angelilli (PPE) , Cristiana Muscardini (ECR) , Erminia Mazzoni (PPE) , Niccolò Rinaldi (ALDE) , Oreste Rossi (PPE)

Subject:  Germany’s Jugendamt (child welfare office) and its ‘Beistandschaft’ administrative measure
In Germany, part of the Jugendamt’s everyday work involves issuing administrative measures known as ‘Beistandschaft’. These consist in the main of bringing a default action against a parent, who is often not a German citizen and not resident in Germany, for maintenance payments for the child living with the other parent in Germany. This can often happen even before a judicial ruling gives it legality.

In essence the Jugendamt, having advanced a sum of money that it has itself decided is suitable to the parent that is de facto living with the child, then applies to the other parent for repayment of this amount, relying in so doing on its prerogative and enforceable powers as a public body.

There is no right of appeal against the ‘Beistandschaft’. It is decided upon without a hearing and it is often vitiated by a failure to notify the party concerned, who only learns of its existence some considerable time later when the sums involved are deducted under an attachment of earnings.

Having duly verified the German laws concerned, could the Commission answer the following:
Does it believe the ‘Beistandschaft’ administrative measure is compatible with European Union law

Does it believe that an administrative measure without a hearing, such as the ‘Beistandschaft’, in which a public body such as the Jugendamt stands in the place of one party against the other, is compatible with Article 17 of Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009, which provides that a decision given is recognised in another Member State without any special procedure being required and is therefore immediately enforceable?

Does it believe that an administrative measure that does not allow for any form of appeal, such as the ‘Beistandschaft’, issued by a public body such as the Jugendamt, is contrary to Article 19 of Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 of 18 December 2008?

Original language of question: IT OJ C 56 E, 27/02/2014
Questions parlementaires – REPONSE 1
20 août 2013
Réponse donnée par Mme Reding au nom de la Commission
Les Honorables Parlementaires interrogent la Commission sur la compatibilité du Beistandschaft avec le droit de l’Union européenne. Selon les informations dont dispose la Commission, le Beistandschaft en matière d’obligations alimentaires désigne le pouvoir donné au Jugendamt (service d’aide à la jeunesse) d’agir en tant que conseiller juridique de l’enfant en ce domaine.

La Commission souligne que la détermination d’une créance alimentaire ou de prestations versées à titre d’aliments, l’organisation interne d’un État membre pour allouer des aliments, la définition des pouvoirs du Jugendamt pour assister un enfant en matière alimentaire ou son droit d’agir en remboursement des prestations fournies à titre d’aliments relèvent du droit national. L’exercice de ces pouvoirs ne relève pas de la mise en œuvre du droit de l’Union européenne.

La Commission n’est donc pas en mesure d’en évaluer la compatibilité avec le droit de l’Union européenne.

Par ailleurs, les Honorables Parlementaires souhaitent connaître l’avis de la Commission quant à la compatibilité d’une décision prise par le Jugendamt dans le cadre de ses pouvoirs de Beistandschaft en matière d’obligations alimentaires avec les articles 17 et 19 du règlement (CE) no 4/2009 (le règlement «aliments»).
À cet égard, la Commission précise que le Jugendamt n’est pas assimilé à une juridiction au sens du règlement «aliments».
Dès lors, à supposer qu’il puisse prendre des «décisions unilatérales», celles-ci ne bénéficieraient pas des règles prévues par le règlement «aliments» en matière de reconnaissance et d’exécution, en particulier de l’abolition de l’exequatur (article 17) et de la procédure de réexamen (article 19).

JO C 56 E du 27/02/2014
eu_vignette_parlement2 Parliamentary questions – QUESTION 2
14 October 2013
Question for written answer to the Commission – Rule 117

Cristiana Muscardini (ECR) , Niccolò Rinaldi (ALDE) , Roberta Angelilli (PPE) , Patrizia Toia (S&D) , Erminia Mazzoni (PPE) , Oreste Rossi (PPE)

Subject:  The German ‘Jugendamt’ (child welfare office) and the ‘Beistandschaft’
In its answer to Question E-007711/2013, the Commission states that ‘[t]he exercise of these powers does not form part of the application of European Union law and the Commission is therefore not able to assess its compatibility with EC law’, but it is common knowledge that there are EU instruments, such as Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 of 18 December 2008, that are concerned with precisely these issues, so there clearly is competence in this sphere. The Commission’s statement highlights an unacceptable paradox. Could the Commission provide definitive clarification on whether, in its view, the EU institutions do not in fact have any jurisdiction on the said subjects, particularly where fundamental rights are being infringed, and where these are protected in other EU countries?

In its answer, the Commission says ‘assuming that it [the Jugendamt] may take unilateral decisions’. We would therefore like to make it clear that the article of law concerning Beistandschaft provisions stipulates that such a provision shall be issued only at the request of the parent who is with the child (whether in the absence of, in accordance with or in contravention of a custody ruling) on German territory and without any kind of consultation with the other parent (from whom, not infrequently, the child has been abducted) and, in addition, provides that the provision shall be immediately enforceable. We therefore ask for the Commission to confirm that Beistandschaft provisions may be characterised as unilateral decisions.

In its answer, the Commission also states that ‘the Jugendamt is not equivalent to a court within the meaning of the said regulation; therefore, since it may take unilateral decisions, these decisions are not covered by the rules laid down in the regulation on maintenance obligations regarding recognition or enforcement, and in particular the abolition of exequatur (Article 17) and the review procedure (Article 19)’. In view of this, could the Commission explain whether I have correctly understood that the decisions of the Jugendamt referred to as Beistandschaft provisions, and the orders issued by the family court which transpose them to the letter, are not subject to the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 of 18 December 2008 and thus, specifically, do not benefit from the abolition of exequatur or the abolition of the review procedure, referred to in Articles 17 and 19 of the regulation, and therefore must and can be reviewed by the national courts?

Original language of question: IT OJ C 218, 10/07/2014
Parliamentary questions – RESPONSE 2
11 December 2013
Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission
With regard to the legal advisership (Beistandschaft) granted to the German Youth Welfare (Jugendamt), the Commission would like to refer the Honourable Members to its replies to the written questions E-007539/2012 and E-003342/2013.

In addition, the Commission would like to specify that the regulation (EC) No 4/2009(1) and its rules abolishing the exequatur and providing for a review procedure apply only to court decisions, courts settlements or authentic instruments, relating to maintenance obligations. Regulation (EC) No 4/2009 does not concern measures granting the Jugendamt powers of Beistandschaft.

As far as maintenance matters are concerned, the Commission would like to emphasise that in general, a court decision, a court settlement or an authentic instrument, including a maintenance arrangement concluded with administrative authorities or authenticated by them, which meets the conditions set forth under the regulation (EC) No 4/2009 shall benefit, in another Member State, from the abolition of exequatur provided by that regulation.

It is also important to inform the Honourable Members that as a general rule, a public body of a Member State, which under its national law has the right to act in place of an individual to whom maintenance is owed or to seek reimbursement of benefits provided to the creditor in place of maintenance, may claim enforcement in another Member State, without prior exequatur, of a court decision given against a debtor on the application of the public body or of a court decision given between a creditor and a debtor to the extent of the benefits provided to the creditor in place of maintenance.

Finally, the Commission would like to refer the Honourable Members to its reply to the Written Question E-011669/2013.

OJ C 218, 10/07/2014
eu_vignette_parlement2 Parliamentary questions – QUESTION 3
14 October 2013
Question for written answer to the Commission – Rule 117

Niccolò Rinaldi (ALDE) , Cristiana Muscardini (ECR) , Roberta Angelilli (PPE) , Patrizia Toia (S&D) , Erminia Mazzoni (PPE) , Oreste Rossi (PPE)

Subject:  The ‘Beistandschaft’ of the ‘Jugendamt’ (child welfare office)
In its answer to Written Question E-007711/2013 dated 20 August 2013, the Commission referred to ‘information available to the Commission’.

Could it state exactly what the information available to the Commission consists of? Is this information solely from Germany, the country whose provisions are being challenged?

Has the Commission checked the articles of the German Code quoted in the Beistandschaft petition, which was declared admissible in November 2012 and given reference number 0979-2012?

In the abovementioned answer, the Commission stated that the Jugendamt acts ‘as legal adviser to the minor’.

Could it clarify how this description of ‘legal adviser’ should be understood, and to what extent a minor is ‘legally advised’ to act against his or her own parent to receive money?

What is the explanation for the ‘legal adviser’ obtaining advances of maintenance payments through the Federal State, even before the relevant court has ruled on custody?

How can this role be reconciled with the prohibition on those who are not legal experts exercising the role of legal adviser, and particularly when they are employees of the Jugendamt?

Original language of question: IT OJ C 218, 10/07/2014
Parliamentary questions – RESPONSE 3
11 December 2013
Answer given by Mrs Reding on behalf of the Commission
The Commission would like to assure the Honourable Members that it has carefully examined the relevant pieces of legislation related to the Written Question E-007711/2013 and the petition 00979/2012, referred to in the question.

In this regard, the Commission takes this opportunity to specify that the tasks of the German Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt) as legal adviser (Beistand) of a child in maintenance matters are to be understood within the meaning of the German national law i.e. Section 1712 of the German Civil Code (BGB).

In addition, the Commission would like to emphasise that in the area of child maintenance, its main objective is to promote the swift recovery of child maintenance in cross-border cases within the European Union. However, it remains the responsibility of Member States to develop specific schemes so as to provide children in need with financial or legal assistance in maintenance matters. That internal organisation remains a matter of national law. In particular, the right of a public body to act in place of an individual to whom maintenance is owed or to seek reimbursement of benefits provided to the creditor in place of maintenance is governed by the law to which the body is subject.

Finally, for the sake of completeness, the Commission would signal that, according to the information available, German law provides that in case of disputes relating to maintenance matters, the maintenance issue is to be determined by a court and not by the Jugendamt.

OJ C 218, 10/07/2014

My conclusions:
The exchange of questions and responses between italian representatives and the European Commission makes me understand two points:
The questions raised  were limited to one sole aspect of  the Beistanschaf: the request of advances of maintenance payments. Nevertheless, the impact of the Beistandschaft on German legal procedures in family matter and its transnational application within the EU is much much broader. Non-German representatives are not aware of what is really the Beistandschaft, nor understand the terrific consequences it will have – in a couple of decades – , once applied automatically in combination with the (EC) regulations (2201/2003, 4/2009 and 650/2012) in all non-German jurisdictions (hundreds of billions of euros will be then transfered to Germany without any legal mean for the non-German states to hinder these obligatory withdrawals).
German officials did not tell all the truth to the Commission. They hid deliberately the central aspect of HOW and WHAT FOR the Beistandschaft is implemented. They kept silent its function to introduce secretly, BEFORE the legal procedure, a fait accompli that then never can be contested. This for a single reason: It doesn’t exist a legal way, nor a legal mean to oppose a Beistandschaft of the Jugendamt (even if German lawyers pretend the opposite), this means, with other words, to get fair justice in Germany.

But what is the function of the Beistandschaft, at all?
To say it very shortly, the Beistandschaft undermines systematically the effectivness of ANY legal procedure for ONE of both parents (the Non-German) in combination with an other hidden measure – the so called Verfahrenspflegschaft – . It allows the Jugendamt to place the chosen parent (the German one) under its legal protection (trusteeship), in  order to access to the “financial” part of his parental rights towards his minor (Vermögenssorge) – which is placed himself under the “financial” care (wardschip) of the Jugendamt (more precisely of the “Bundesland”) -, this all to entitle the Jugendamt to assert these financial parental (part)rights, acting as the German State against the other parent (the Non-German).
With other words, custodian and visiting parents are already chosen administratively – unilaterally and arbitrarily – before any Court procedure has initiated. The function of the Court will be then reduced to a materialization of the fait accompli and a legalization of the political decision (the one made by the Jugendamt that implemented a Beistandschaft), through the effect of legal procedures.
The “German” parent must cooperate – even as an unwilling instrument – against his former partner (the Non-German), in order to exclude him from any contact to the minor child. A non cooperation could imply for him, to set his own parental rights at risk (to loose his own child to the Jugendamt).

Let me conclude in a metaforic way; the German family justice is a “double decker justice”:
On the first floor there is the Jugendamt, that guides and decides alone the destination to reach, the way to take (a short or a long way accordingly to the patrimony available by the non-German) and how much will be the fare to pay.
On the second floor there is the judge. At any station (at any hearing) a new passenger get on board and is directed straight to the second floor: sollicitors, ‘Verfahrenspfleger’, ‘Umgangspfleger’, expert in German ‘Kindeswohl’ matters (Gutachter).
Once boarded, all these people won’t leave the bus before the final destination is reached, with other words, before the political decision made by the Jugendamt through the Beistandschaft will have been implemented in irreversible facts.
Non-German lawyers, politicians, parents, the European Parliament, the Commission or even the ECHR, never see the first floor of this double decker. This is the key problem.

However I will publish an extended feuillet universitaire in english on this topic.
A draft of all effects of the Beistandschaft is published in french as a 007 document.

Olivier Karrer
CEED – Paris


2 thoughts on “008 – European Parliament – Committee on Petition – “Beistandschaft of the Jugendamt”

  1. Pingback: 012 – Petizione “Beistandschaft” (italiano) | Olivier Karrer

  2. Pingback: 014 – Pétition “Beistandschaft” (français) | Olivier Karrer

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