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Migration and Home Affairs


In the migration context, a person or an organisation appointed by the competent bodies in order to assist and represent a child in different procedures (such as in procedures for international protection) with a view to ensuring the best interests of the child (BIC) and exercising legal capacity for the minor where necessary.


Derived by EMN from Art. 2(n) of Directive 2013/32/EU (Recast Asylum Procedures Directive)

Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA): Guardianship for children deprived of parental care, 2015


  • BG: представител
  • CS: zástupce
  • DE: Vertreter (EU acquis); Stellvertreter (DE)
  • EL: εκπρόσωπος
  • EN: representative
  • ES: representante legal
  • ET: esindaja
  • FI: edustaja
  • FR: représentant
  • GA: ionadaí
  • HU: képviselő
  • IT: rappresentante
  • LT: atstovas
  • LV: pārstāvis
  • MT: Rappreżentant legali / Kuratur legali
  • NL: vertegenwoordiger
  • PL: przedstawiciel
  • PT: representante legal
  • RO: reprezentant
  • SK: zástupca
  • SL: predstavnik / zastopnik
  • SV: företrädare
  • NO: representant
  • KA: წარმომადგენელი
  • UK: представник


  • legal representative

Broader Term(s)

Related Term(s)


1. Neither in the international context nor at EU or national level is there a uniform definition and use of the terms guardian and (legal) representative. Sometimes both terms are understood as synonyms. An overview of different terms used in international and EU context can be found in: Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA): Guardianship for children deprived of parental care, 2015.
2. The EMN Glossary puts the emphasis on the functions of the appointed person, rather than on the terminology. The term 'representative' reflects the narrower concept and encompasses only the legal representation of the child within particular legal or administrative proceedings as one of the three key functions of guardianship, and thus is not responsible for the full range of tasks normally assigned to a guardian. A representative can be a person or an organisation, in the latter case the organisation shall designate a person responsible for carrying out the duties of a representative. A guardian and a representative can be the same person, but do not necessarily have to be.
3. The representative differs also from a qualified lawyer or other legal professional who provide legal assistance, speak on behalf of the child and legally represent them in written statements and in person before administrative and judicial authorities in criminal, asylum or other legal proceedings as provided in national law. For more information see Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA): Guardianship systems for children deprived of parental care in the European Union, Summary, 2018.
4. The inconsistent use of both terms in EU legislation can be seen e.g. in Art. 4(2f) of Amended Proposal for a Regulation establishing a common procedure for international protection in the Union and repealing Directive 2013/32/EU COM/2020/611 as it uses the term 'guardian' with the previous definition of 'representative' in Art. 2(n) of Directive 2013/32/EU (Recast Asylum Procedures Directive).