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On The Limits of Judicial Intervention:EU Citizenship and Family Reunification Rights

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Abstract This article scrutinises the logic behind the recent judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Ruiz Zambrano and McCarthy focusing on their implications for the right to family reunification under EU law. Specific attention is devoted to the phenomenon of reverse discrimination in the context of the new jurisdiction test established by the Court, which is based on the severity of the Member States’ interference with EU citizenship rights rather than on a pure cross-border logic. EU citizens unable to establish a link with EU law are often subject to stricter family reunification requirements in comparison to their migrant compatriots and even certain third country nationals. It is argued that this situation is difficult to accept in light of the principles of legal certainty, equality and the protection of fundamental rights. A new balance between EU citizenship and Member States’ regulatory autonomy is established but legislative action is required to solve the outstanding problems.


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