Citizenship Rights and the Federal Balance between the European Union and its Member States: Comment on Dereci

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Series Details Vol.37, No.2, April 2012, p176-190
Publication Date April 2012
ISSN 0307-5400
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With its judgment in the Dereci case, the European Court of Justice has clarified the implications of its judgments in Ruiz Zambrano and McCarthy for the application of EU
citizenship rights in purely internal situations.

By introducing strict criteria which harness the new jurisdiction test that national measures may not affect the genuine enjoyment of EU citizenship rights, the Court further narrows down the potential of its innovative reasoning in Ruiz Zambrano and preserves the Member States’ regulatory autonomy and core responsibilities for the protection of fundamental rights outside the scope of EU law.

This contribution analyses the Dereci judgment in light of the complex balance of powers between the European Union and its Member States following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In practical terms, the judgment brings the issue of
reverse discrimination to the fore once again, including the possibility and opportunity for the EU legislator to foster equal treatment of all EU citizens in the field of family reunification.

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