Reference : Le droit au regroupement familial des réfugiés mineurs non accompagnés devenus majeur...
Scientific journals : Article
Law, criminology & political science : European & international law
Law / European Law
Le droit au regroupement familial des réfugiés mineurs non accompagnés devenus majeurs: l’affaire A et S, entre progrès incontestable et portée relative
[en] The right to family reunification for unaccompanied minors reaching the age of majority: The A and S case, undeniable progress and limited impact
Silga, Janine mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Law Research Unit >]
European Papers
European Forum
[en] family reunification ; unaccompanied minors ; directive 2003/86/EC ; uniform interpretation ; best interests of the child ; refugee
[en] In its decision A and S (judgment of 12 April 2018, case C-550/16, A et S v. Staatssecretaris van Veiligheid en Justitie), the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled – for the first time – on the relevant date for assessing the minority of an unaccompanied minor who reaches the age of majority in the course of their application for international protection. In this case, a young refugee had introduced an application for international protection while she was still minor of age but subsequently attained the age of majority during the procedure. In accordance with Art. 10, para. 3, let. a), of directive 2003/86 on the right to family reunification, she then applied for temporary residence permits for her relatives in the direct ascending line for the purposes of family reunification. Although she was granted asylum and thus fell within the scope of chapter V of directive 2003/86 laying down more favourable conditions for the family reunification of refugees, the directive was silent on whether she could have benefited from such conditions retroactively. Following its AG in this case, the Court avoided a formalistic interpretation and rather opted for a teleological approach of the more protective provisions of directive 2003/86. By doing so, it allowed their retroactive application to the young refugee and her parents. Through its interpretation, the Court restated its firm intention to protect the best interests of children – including third-country nationals – in the context of family reunification. Although it shows a definitely protective approach, the concrete impact of this decision appears to be somewhat limited in scope.

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