Date of the ruling : March 8th 2011

Jurisdiction : Court of Justice of the European Union

Legal basis : Article 34 of the European Charter on Fundamental Rights on Social Security and Social Assistance | Article 24 on the Rights of the Child | Article 21 on Non-Discrimination

A married couple of Columbian nationals applied for asylum in Belgium and remained there, though their application was rejected, due to the non-refoulement clause. Two children of this couple, born in Belgium, gained Belgian nationality and, thus, citizenship of the Union. Based on this fact, the father of the two citizens tried to obtain a residence permit and, after having been forced to stop working due to lack of work permit, an unemployment benefit. While the latter application was rejected by the administrative authority, the tribunal, before which the rejection was challenged, decided to refer to ECJ.

Results and key consequences of the case: Article 20 TFEU is to be interpreted as meaning that it precludes a Member State from refusing a third country national upon whom his minor children, who are” EU “citizens, are dependent, a right of residence in the Member State of residence and nationality of those children, and from refusing to grant a work permit to that third country national, in so far as such decisions deprive those children of the genuine enjoyment of the substance of the rights attaching to the status of” EU “citizens.”

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Court of Justice of the European Union