Spain is moving to raise the minimum age for marriage from 14 to 16 in a bid to boost protection of minors and bring the country in line with its European Union neighbors.

The legislation was approved by the lower house of Parliament last month and was sent to the Senate on Friday for debate and likely approval over the coming months.

Spanish law allows boys and girls to marry at 14 with permission from a judge. Without such consent, they must wait until they are 18.

Spain has one of Europe's lowest minimum ages for marriage in the EU, with most members setting it at 16.