Caritas Europa’s response to EC’s Green Paper: Focus on factual harmonisation of the right to family reunification
Thu, 06/12/2012 - 16:04

Caritas Europa has contributed to a Green Paper from the European Commission on the Family Reunification Directive. CE response also included contributions from several member organisations.


Brussels, 28 February 2012 - Caritas Europa calls on the European Commission to focus on better implementation and factual harmonisation of the right to family reunification of existing legislation by Member States.

The European Commission issued in November 2011, a broad consultation on family reunification (Green Paper) on the Family Reunification Directive. Based on the results, the European Commission will decide whether any policy follow-up is necessary.

Caritas Europa has delivered a detailed contribution to the Green Paper. The main points that Caritas Europa is advocating are:

  • Ensuring that the right to family life is upheld and respected at the EU level with regards to third country nationals.
  • The goal of the Directive to facilitate and enable family life of third country nationals in the EU to be met and the unnecessary conditions that can prevent family life to be removed.
  • Ensuring equal treatment and non-discrimination of third country nationals and their family members with regards to access to labour market, education and training.
  • Access to independent residence status for reunited family members as early as possible.

We believe that a more generous practice in facilitating family reunification is in the spirit of the 2003 Directive. We encourage the adoption and enforcement of binding guidance on the respective provisions as a minimum option. We see a strong need for guidance to ensure a more coherent application of existing legislation. We have to acknowledge and protect the right to family reunification, which allows for a family reunification as early and as fully as possible and which tries to achieve empowerment by making rights a reality rather than denying rights to migrants and their families.

Read the full text of Caritas Europa's contribution here.

Caritas Europa also joined a common position of European Christian organisations together with CCME, COMECE Secretariat, Eurodiaconia, ICMC, JRS Europe and the Quaker Council on European Affairs. Read the group's comments here.

You can access the common position of Deutsche Caritasverband and Diakonische Werk der EKD here.

For further information, please contact:

Karolina Babicka
Policy and Advocacy Officer

Migration and Asylum