Giada Grattarola

Right to Family Reunification and Wholly Internal Situations in the Recent Case-law of the European Court of Justice

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: right to family reunification; purely internal situations; free movement of people; Lounes; K.A. et al. v. Belgium; Chavez-Vilchez et al.

The scope of application of EU law is far from being completely defined through the analysis of conferred competences. In fact, according to settled case-law of the European Court of Justice, EU law cannot be applied to purely internal situations, i.e. to cases which are confined in all the relevant elements within a single Member State, and/or which are ruled by a national norm that does not hamper the exercise of freedom of movement in the European space. Therefore, although the concept of ‘wholly internal situation’ is quite vague and built on a case-by-case approach, it contributes to define the external boundaries of the scope of application of EU law. More specifically, in the field of the right to family reunification, the European Court of Justice has recently clarified the notion at hand by means of the rulings Lounes v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, Chavez-Vilchez et al. v. Raad van bestuur van de Sociale verzekeringsbank et al., and K.A. et al. v. Belgian State. This paper examines the conceptual evolution applied to the notion of ‘wholly internal situation’ by the aforementioned judgments. In particular, it analyses whether the application of EU provisions relating to the right to family reunification is still linked to the exercise of freedom of movement granted to all European citizens.

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