Council of Europe criticises Dutch family reunification policy

The Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights has singled out the Netherlands in a critique of tighter rules on family reunification in a number of European countries.

The commissioner says people who want to bring partners or children to many parts of Europe face ‘unreasonable requirements’.
These become insurmountable obstacles which prevent migrants from being with loved ones, Thomas Hammarberg is quoted as saying.
‘The new Dutch government has – in agreement with the PVV – decided to introduce much stricter requirements for family migration ‘focusing on restricting and reducing the number’, Hammarberg said.
‘It has also made clear its intention to work in the same spirit for a review of the EU directive on the right to family reunification.
Under Dutch rules, men or women wishing to bring in a foreign partner must earn at least 120% of the official minimum wage. Their partner must pass a language and integration test in their country of origin and be at least 21 years old. The new government wants to increase that to 24.

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