WRITTEN QUESTION E-2779/01by Adeline Hazan (PSE) to the Council
(10 October 2001)Subject:
Proposal for a directive on family reunificationOn the eve of the JHA Council meeting (27-28 September 2001) at which the proposal for a directive onthe right to family reunification is due to be discussed, I am concerned about the future of this piece of legislation which is vital to the building of a European area of justice, freedom and security.Some Member States seem to want to pull back as they approach a decision on the establishment of aright to family reunification. Substantial changes would, as a result, be made to the basic proposal. Andyet, is this proposal not a first practical and courageous step towards the communitisation of the thirdpillar? Does the Council support this move?Is it in favour of:1. extending to more than one year the period before which nationals of third countries may not beauthorised to apply for family reunification?2. applying a narrow definition of the term ‘family’ to mean only the family nucleus, excluding relativesin the ascending line, unmarried couples and adult dependent children?3. refusing to grant family members the right to work on arrival in the host Member State?4. allowing states to withdraw the residence permits from members of reunified families if the conditionslaid down are not met within two years of reunification?In September 2000 the European Parliament did not take this view. Can the Council undertake to give itsfirm and definitive backing to the European Parliament’s position?Will it endeavour to contribute to the elimination of ideologies based on a selective and anachronisticvision of European citizenship?
(12 February 2002)
Since the Council’s reply to Written Question P-1597/01, put by the Honourable Member in May 2001,discussions in Council bodies have focused mainly on a number of basic issues such as the definition of ‘family member’, the rights to be granted to persons who may qualify for family reunification and thevarious time limits to be adopted. Despite the intense discussions conducted by the Swedish and BelgianPresidencies, it has not yet been possible to bring Member States’ positions closer together on thesesensitive issues.At its meeting on 27 and 28 September 2001, the JHA Council held a discussion based on key issuesidentified by the Presidency, namely: the treatment of unmarried partners; the age of minor children who can benefit from the right to family reunification; the time limits/waiting periods to which the sponsor and/or family members may be subject in orderto benefit from the rights granted by the Directive.With regard in particular to the scope of the Directive, the Presidency endeavoured to find a compromisesolution identifying three different categories of family members who may qualify for the right to family reunification, based on closeness of family ties: spouse and minor children (‘the nuclear family’) direct ascendants and children of full age; unmarried partners.C134E/100 EN 6.6.2002Official Journal of the European Communities