The website for critical discussion about migration in Central and Eastern Europe.

Family reunification

Family migration from non-EU countries forms around one third of overall migration into the European Union. This portion is even higher in some Central European countries (Czech Republic, Slovenia). Although in other Central European countries (Hungary, Slovakia, Poland) the numbers of family migrants are still relatively low, it is expected that family migration will become generally more important in this region in the context of restrictive measures towards labour migration. The policies of family reunification in Central European countries are generally favourable which is attributed mostly to the transposition of the EU standards and little national interest in the topic. Migrants seeking family reunification can expect mainly discretionary procedures and high costs. Some countries (e.g. Czech Republic) apply minimum age limit for spouses and sponsors above the majority age. For more information about the family reunification policies in the CE see the briefing by Thomas Huddleston.

The family reunification is regulated on both the EU and national levels. The family migration of third country nationals is governed by the Family Reunification Directive, whereas the family reunion of EU citizens who reside in other EU country is regulated by the Directive 2004/38/EC. Apart from that there is the family migration of EU nationals who reside in their home country, which is mostly regulated by national legislation. Due to complex legal framework and ongoing European debate, the discussion of experts within this topic will limit itself to the family reunification of third-country nationals in Central European countries.

More specifically, the expert discussion within the topic Family reunification focuses on:
  • the importance of family reunification in the immigration systems
  • the strategy behind the countries family reunification policy
  • the strengths and weaknesses of the family reunification policy from the migrants point of view

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