FAMILY REUNIFICATION : MEPS NOT KEEN ON REVISION OF DIRECTIVE.

Position::European Union members of parliament on right of immigrants to reunite with their family
 
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The European Commission's consultation on member states' enforcement of the right of family reunification (Directive 2003/86/EC) has sparked concerns among certain MEPs, who fear that the debate may be contaminated by migration policy issues. The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), meeting on 12 January, held its first airing of views on this very touchy subject.

The consultation, launched on 15 November 2011, raises questions on problems related to transposition of the directive and especially on member states' room for manoeuvre on application of a number of provisions. Adopted after laborious negotiations, the text provides extremely limited harmonisation of national legislations. Depending on the results of the consultation, the Commission will decide either to draw up guidelines, amend the legislation or leave it as is.

"If the system is not broken, why fix it," asked Sophie in't Veld (ALDE, Netherlands), warning that the debate may focus not on the right to family reunification per se but on the question of migration, at a time when many member states do not support an open immigration policy. "I told the Commission to be careful," stated the MEP. She singled out the comments of fellow Dutch MEP Auke Zijlstra (non-attached), who said clearly that "the right to a...

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