Towards a Contextual Conception of Social Integration in eu Immigration Law. Comments on P & S and K & A

In: European Journal of Migration and Law
Daniel Thym Department of Public, European and International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Konstanz Universitätsstraße 10, 78464 Konstanz Germany Research Centre for Immigration & Asylum Law, University of Konstanz Universitätsstraße 10, 78464 Konstanz Germany

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Integration policy instruments disclose how European societies define themselves in response to migration. Pre-departure civic integration tests are emblematic of a new focus on social cohesion and have been a bone of contention in political and academic circles. That is why the ecj’s long-awaited verdicts on Dutch integration requirements for spouses and long-term residents are a milestone in the construction of an EU immigration policy. This contribution critically analyses the rationale and implications of the P & S and K & A rulings at different levels starting with doctrinal ambiguities on the part of judges when interpreting secondary legislation. On this basis, it relates the outcome of both cases to the broader constitutional context in terms of human rights, the doctrine of individual statutory rights and non-discrimination guarantees – together with a contextual outlook on factors influencing the reorientation of integration policies.

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