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Full Access Free Movement and the Fragmentation of Family Reunification Rights

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Free Movement and the Fragmentation of Family Reunification Rights

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Abstract Family reunification regulations in the EU are increasingly complex, and they vary for different groups of sponsors. This paper documents the existence of four parallel legal regimes for family reunification — national rules for citizens who do not move, EU rules for citizens who move within Europe, the Family Reunification Directive for third-country nationals in the EU, and since 2011, family reunification rights based on EU citizenship status. This paper asks how and why family reunification rules are being thus fragmented, and in particular why so-called ‘reverse discrimination’, where citizens are disadvantaged vis-à-vis non-citizens, is persisting and deepening. It draws on tools from political science, namely historical institutionalism and studies of policy transfer and Europeanization, to showcase the different logics that underlie these puzzling developments.

Abstract Family reunification regulations in the EU are increasingly complex, and they vary for different groups of sponsors. This paper documents the existence of four parallel legal regimes for family reunification — national rules for citizens who do not move, EU rules for citizens who move within Europe, the Family Reunification Directive for third-country nationals in the EU, and since 2011, family reunification rights based on EU citizenship status. This paper asks how and why family reunification rules are being thus fragmented, and in particular why so-called ‘reverse discrimination’, where citizens are disadvantaged vis-à-vis non-citizens, is persisting and deepening. It draws on tools from political science, namely historical institutionalism and studies of policy transfer and Europeanization, to showcase the different logics that underlie these puzzling developments.

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/content/journals/10.1163/15718166-12342024
2013-01-01
2016-12-04

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