A lawyer has told DR she will probably reopen “a large number” of cases following a landmark EU ruling that Denmark’s family reunification rules are too strict when applied to Turkish people.
The ruling was made in connection with a ten-year case that reached the European Court of Justice, which ruled that the Immigration Service’s decision to turn down a bid made by a Turkish woman living in Turkey to be reunited with her spouse and four children in Denmark was “not correct”.
Following the decision, experts have concluded there is no room for Denmark to manoeuvre. However, the decision will only apply to Turkish applicants.
Same rights as EU citizens
The EU ruling cites an association agreement it struck with Turkey in the 1960s that stipulated that Turkish nationals in a number of areas must be treated in the same way as EU citizens.
Accordingly, therefore, Denmark cannot apply its strict family reunification rules to Turks applying for family reunification, and lawyer Jytte Lindgård is excited to revisit some of her old cases.
She remembers many applications made by Turkish workers for reunification with their spouses being turned down, despite the Turks “having solid ground under their feet” in Denmark.
Many might have left, though
“It’s an exciting and landmark judgment – and it will certainly mean that many of us lawyers will look at whether we can resume cases in which our Turkish clients did not get family reunification,” she told DR.
“I want to start looking at the old cases I have as soon as possible. I will try to contact some of the clients and see if they are still in the country and want to try to resume their case. However, I think many have left.”
Denmark’s current rules require applicants to have a stronger connection to Denmark than their country of origin, passable Danish language skills, other relatives in Denmark, and experience of Danish employment and/or education.
Additionally having children who reside in Denmark and temporary residence in the country will enhance their chances.