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by G.D.S.

States Under Scrutiny

Translated Sunday 10 August 2008, by Alice Charlton

Migration. Ireland and Italy warned.

Some couples living in Denmark are counting on a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for their request for a residence permit from the Integration Department to be granted. These couples, where one spouse is from the European Union (EU) and the other from a third country, are finding the spouse from outside the EU refused residency. Denmark obliges them to reside firstly in another member state. Some Irish couples have found themselves in the same situation and have won a case at the ECJ. A ruling from the European courts on 25 July constrains Ireland to grant a residence permit to non-EU spouses of citizens of another EU member state, on the grounds that the restrictions imposed by Dublin are in contradiction with the principle of free movement of workers within the EU. Thus, relying on this ruling, the couples living in Denmark filed a legal case on Monday. The government may well have to reconsider its decision.

In Italy, the government’s latest anti-migratory measures are contested by the opposition and the Council of Europe alike. On Tuesday, Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, judged that, “the measures implemented in Italy do not take into account human rights and humanitarian principles and could stir up further xenophobic incidents.” The European Parliament was already concerned about the situation in the Italian peninsula.

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