Family reunification between static EU citizens and TCNs: a ‘purely internal situation’?
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Contrary to family reunification concerning EU citizens who have exercised their right to move within the EU, family reunification of static EU citizens is not regulated by any Directive in the EU framework, but falls in principle within the remit of EU Member States. This thesis argues that placing limitations on family reunification concerning EU citizens who have not exercised their right to free movement and are not able to link their application to any EU Directive cannot be considered as a purely domestic matter. According to the progressive jurisprudence of the CJEU, the TFEU provides safeguards to the citizens of the Union stemming directly from the status of the EU citizenship. This thesis further argues that the substance of the rights attached to this status also entails the possibility for EU citizens to establish and develop their family life in their country of residence. To this end, this paper provides a critical analysis of the case law of the CJEU regarding family reunification of static EU citizens, combined with Member States’ human rights obligations with respect to the right to family life, read alone and in conjunction with the principle of equality and non-discrimination. Particular attention is also drawn to the principle of the best interests of the child, which must be the primary consideration of all States in cases which involve children.