Reports & Working Papers

Publication details

The European Court of Justice on Humanitarian Visas: Legal Integrity vs. Political Opportunism?
Release year: 2017
Organisation: CEPS

Author(s) details

Evelien Brouwer

Publication description

Humanitarian Visas, European Court of Justice
Even before the outcome of the case between Syrian asylum-seekers v. the Belgian state (X and X v. Belgium) was known, on the morning of the 7th of March 2017 a Dutch newspaper printed the headline: “Decision of the European Court today could lay a bomb under the European asylum system”.1 Well, it did not. In X and X v. Belgium, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decided to take a rather formal, possibly even politically motivated approach, concluding that member states have no positive obligation to issue humanitarian visa to Syrian families, even if they are at risk of ill treatment, in violation of Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.