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Document 62016CN0082

Case C-82/16: Request for a preliminary ruling from the Raad voor Vreemdelingenbetwistingen (Belgium) lodged on 12 February 2016 — K. and Others v Belgische Staat

OJ C 145, 25.4.2016, p. 21–23 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

25.4.2016   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 145/21


Request for a preliminary ruling from the Raad voor Vreemdelingenbetwistingen (Belgium) lodged on 12 February 2016 — K. and Others v Belgische Staat

(Case C-82/16)

(2016/C 145/28)

Language of the case: Dutch

Referring court

Raad voor Vreemdelingenbetwistingen

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicants: A. K., Z. M., J. M., N. N. N., I. O. O., I. R., A. B.

Defendant: Belgische Staat

Questions referred

1.

Should Union law, in particular Article 20 TFEU, Articles 5 and 11 of Directive 2008/115/EC (1) together with Articles 7 and 24 of the Charter, (2) be interpreted as precluding in certain circumstances a national practice whereby a residence application, lodged by a family member/third-country national in the context of family reunification with a Union citizen in the Member State where the Union citizen concerned lives and of which he is a national and who has not made use of his right of freedom of movement and establishment (‘static Union citizen’), is not considered — whether or not accompanied by a removal decision — for the sole reason that the family member concerned is a third-country national subject to a valid entry ban with a European dimension?

(a)

Is it important when assessing such circumstances that there is a relationship of dependence between the family member/third-country national and the static Union citizen which goes further than a mere family tie? If so, what factors play a role in determining the existence of a relationship of dependence? Would it be useful in that regard to refer to case-law relating to the existence of a family life under Article 8 ECHR and Article 7 of the Charter?

(b)

With reference to minor children in particular, does Article 20 TFEU require more than a biological tie between the parent/third-country national and the child/Union citizen? Is it important in that regard that cohabitation is demonstrated, or do emotional and financial ties suffice, like a residential or visiting arrangement and the payment of maintenance? Would it be useful in that regard to refer to what was stated in the Court of Justice judgments of 10 July 2014 in Case C-244/13 Ogieriakhi, paragraphs 38 and 39; 16 July 2015 in Case C-218/14 Singh and Others, paragraph 54; and 6 December 2012 in Joined Cases C-356/11 and C-357/11 O. and S., paragraph 56? See in that regard also the pending request for a preliminary ruling in Case C-133/15.

(c)

Is the fact that the family life was created at a moment that the third-country national was already subject to an entry ban and thus aware of the fact that his stay in the Member State was illegal, important for the assessment of such circumstances? Could that fact be of relevance to combat the possible abuse of residence procedures in the context of family reunification?

(d)

Is the fact that no legal remedy within the meaning of Article 13(1) of Directive 2008/115/EC was applied for against the decision to impose an entry ban or the fact that the appeal against the decision to impose an entry ban was rejected important for the assessment of such circumstances?

(e)

Is the fact that the entry ban was imposed on grounds of public policy or on grounds of irregular stay a relevant factor? If so, must an examination also be undertaken of whether the third-country national concerned also represents a genuine, real and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society? In that regard, can Articles 27 and 28 of Directive 2004/38/EC, (3) which were transposed in Articles 43 and 45 of the Vreemdelingenwet, and the associated case-law of the Court of Justice on public policy, be applied by analogy to family members of static Union citizens? (cf. the pending requests for preliminary rulings in Cases C-165/14 and C-304/14)

2.

Should Union law, in particular Article 5 of Directive 2008/115/EC and Articles 7 and 24 of the Charter, be interpreted as precluding a national practice whereby a valid entry ban can be invoked in order not to consider a subsequent application for family reunification with a static Union citizen, lodged in the territory of a Member State, without taking due account of family life and the best interests of the children involved, which were mentioned in that subsequent application for family reunification?

3.

Should Union law, in particular Article 5 of Directive 2008/115/EC and Articles 7 and 24 of the Charter, be interpreted as precluding a national practice whereby a decision on removal is taken with regard to a third-country national who is already subject to a valid entry ban, without taking due account of family life and the best interests of the children involved, which were mentioned in a subsequent application for family reunification with a static Union citizen, i.e. after the entry ban was imposed?

4.

Does Article 11(3) of Directive 2008/115/EC imply that a third-country national must in principle lodge an application for the lifting or suspension of a current and final entry ban outside the European Union or are there circumstances in which he can also lodge that application in the European Union?

(a)

Must the third and fourth subparagraphs of Article 11(3) of Directive 2008/115/EC be understood to mean that the requirement laid down in the first subparagraph of Article 11(3) of the said Directive, to the effect that the withdrawal or the suspension of the entry ban can only be considered if the third-country national concerned is able to demonstrate that he or she has left the territory in full compliance with a return decision, must plainly have been met in every individual case or in all categories of cases?

(b)

Do Articles 5 and 11 of Directive 2008/115/EC preclude an interpretation whereby a residence application in the context of family reunification with a static Union citizen, who has not exercised his right of freedom of movement and establishment, is regarded as an implicit (temporary) application to lift or suspend the valid and final entry ban whereby, if it is shown that the residence conditions have not been met, the valid and final entry ban is revived?

(c)

Is the fact that the obligation to lodge a request for lifting or suspension in the country of origin possibly entails only a temporary separation between the third-country national and the static Union citizen, a relevant factor? Are there nevertheless circumstances in which Articles 7 and 24 of the Charter preclude such a temporary separation?

(d)

Is the fact that the only effect of the obligation to lodge a request for lifting or suspension in the country of origin is that the Union citizen would, if necessary, only have to leave the territory of the European Union in its entirety for a limited time, a relevant factor? Are there circumstances in which Article 20 TFEU nevertheless precludes the fact that the static Union citizen would have to leave the territory of the European Union in its entirety for a limited time?


(1)  Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (OJ 2008 L 348, p. 98).

(2)  OJ 2000 C 364, p. 1.

(3)  Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States amending Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 and repealing Directives 64/221/EEC, 68/360/EEC, 72/194/EEC, 73/148/EEC, 75/34/EEC, 75/35/EEC, 90/364/EEC, 90/365/EEC and 93/96/EEC (OJ 2004 L 158, p. 77).


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