The Right to Family Reunion vs Integration Conditions for Third-Country Nationals

The CJEU’s Approach and the Road Not Taken

In: European Journal of Migration and Law
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  • 1 Center for Europe, University of Warsaw, as of September 2018, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Health and Human Rights Unit, School of Law, Queen’s University of Belfast, Poland

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The article explores the approach of the Court of Justice of the European Union to the clash between the fundamental right to family reunion and the powers of Member States to protect national identity as a manifestation of sovereignty. The recent case-law pertinent to national measures imposing pre-entry, integration conditions on foreigners and the latter rights under the Directive 2006/83/EC (‘FRD’) on the right of third-country nationals to family reunion provides a basis for the analysis. The aim of this article is to establish and appraise the Court’s approach to the conflict in question. My claim is that the CJEU should have been more restrictive in its reasoning regarding the pre-entry integration measures, and that its interpretation based on individual assessment, proportionality principle and effet utile may not be sufficient for a scrutiny of national powers under FRD. I thus argue that the Court should be more proactive to provide a constitutional, contextual and systemic interpretation of the right to family reunion under the FRD, Article 7 and 24 of the EU Charter and the EU migration law system.