COFACE responded to the public consultation on EU’s legislation on the legal migration of non-EU citizens (Fitness Check on EU legal migration legislation), launched by the European Commission, that closed on 18 September 2017.
The consultation aimed to ask citizens and all interested parties their view on a number of legislative instruments on legal migration, from the directive to family reunification to the Blue Card (currently under revision by the co-legislators), from the directive on seasonal workers to the one on students and researchers, (negotiated only one year ago). The scope and the approach of the consultation made it very unclear what the European Commission wanted to achieve with this consultation. In particular, consulting on a number of very different instruments, some of which have been recently negotiated or are currently under revision, in a moment where migration is a polarizing topic in the public discourse, can lead to very different outcomes. Not knowing which direction the European Commission would like to take, it is very delicate and difficult to formulate proposals and suggestions.
Nevertheless, COFACE Families Europe decided to respond to the consultation (see the response here), but limiting its responses to the questions linked to the directive on the right to Family Reunification. In its response, COFACE underlined that family reunification is a right and families still face a number of obstacles, linked in many occasions to the fact that the Directive is interpreted in a very restrictive way and Member States have a large margin of manoeuvre. COFACE included in its response an annex and the report from the workshop on Family reunification held in Brussels on 12 May 2017 during the conference “Families on the Move”.