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Free Movement for Workers or Citizens? Reverse Discrimination in European Family Reunification Policies

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Chapter Summary

Reverse discrimination is problematic and should be eliminated, but European Union (EU) law provides no direct means of doing so because it lies beyond its competence and there are limits to the possibilities of judicial intervention in order to resolve reverse discrimination. This chapter approaches this issue from a different angle, using tools from political science to seek to understand why differential treatment with regard to family reunification appears to persist and deepen. Following which it outlines a typology of family reunification cases in the EU. The chapter proposes an overarching explanation of the increasing fragmentation of rights to family reunification drawing on historical institutionalism and policy transfer theories. Finally, it discusses the paradoxical role of free of movement in accessing family reunification rights, and suggests that a new intersection of paths may occur whereby Member States find new ways of restricting family reunification for free movers.

Keywords:European Union (EU); family reunification rights; free movement; reverse discrimination



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