The European Union will hold its first meeting Monday dedicated to the common rights that children enjoy as European citizens, but differences remain between the 15 members over what those should include.
EU-wide rights and safeguards targeting children have been ignored in past accords, though they will be mentioned in the European Charter of fundamental rights, due to be adopted at next month's EU summit held in the southern French town of Nice.
Nor does any centralized European mechanism exist to coordinate the exchange of information and statistics regarding children, along with an elaboration of the different legal positions adopted by every member state.
But while EU leaders may have agreed on the fundamentals, differences remain over specifics.
For instance, the legal age for marriage in Spain is 14 but in Ireland it is 16. Some EU members, notably France and Belgium, maintain restrictions on inheritance for children born out of adultery.
Differences also exist on the legal status of adopted children -- PARIS (AFP)
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