The Migration Law Clinic of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has published a new expert opinion, titled ‘Safeguarding the Rights of minor Union citizens: The right to emergency shelter in light of EU law’. The Clinic provides legal advice to lawyers, Non‐Governmental Organisations, and other organisations on complex legal questions of European migration law. The following persons contributed to this expert opinion: Charlotte Carella, Fadi Fahad, Léa Lantelme, Flora Platteuw, Eva van der Wal (students), mr. Isabella Leroy, mr. dr. Dion Kramer (supervisors), mr. dr. Marcelle Reneman (coordinator).
This project concerns the case of a Moroccan mother who has a right to reside in the Netherlands with her six-year-old Dutch child on the basis of Article 20 TfEU (the Chavez-Vilchez case law). The mother applied for emergency shelter to the municipality of Amsterdam. This application was refused, amongst others because the mother did not belong to the target group of emergency shelter, did not come to Netherlands well-prepared and could return to Morocco with the support of the municipality. The mother started two procedures against the refusal of emergency shelter: an appeal against the decision of the municipality of Amsterdam to refuse shelter before the administrative court and a civil law procedure against the Dutch State about the alleged illegality of the refusal of shelter before the civil court. In the administrative procedure, the district court declared the appeal against the refusal well-founded. The State appealed this judgment before the Central Appeal Council (Centrale Raad van Beroep). In the civil procedure, both the district court and the appeal court ruled that the Dutch State did not act illegally by refusing the mother emergency shelter. The mother appealed these judgments before the Supreme Court (Hoge Raad).
The objective of the expert opinion of the Migration Law Clinic was to examine whether the decision by the municipality of Amsterdam to refuse (prolonged) access to emergency shelter to a lawfully residing TCN mother and her dependent minor child with Dutch nationality is in conformity with EU law. This decision was based on two grounds: first, that the applicants had not lived for at least two years in the municipality of Amsterdam as their most recent place of residence (the region connection requirement) and second, that they had not accepted a return scheme to Morocco offered by the municipality of Amsterdam.
The expert opinion first argues that the municipality of Amsterdam was not acting in line with Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) by refusing to provide emergency shelter to a TCN mother and her minor Union citizen child. Second, the expert opinion contends that the municipality of Amsterdam was not acting in line with Article 21 TFEU by setting a two-year residence requirement (region connection) for emergency shelter.
The expert opinion can be accessed here