The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times

Germany’s practice of imposing a language proficiency test on Turks applying for family reunification visas is contrary to European Union values and agreements, the European Court of Justice ruled Thursday.

The ruling directly applies only to the German government’s requirement that family members of German-resident Turks and other non-EU citizens prove they have basic German-language proficiency to qualify for a visa.

But as other countries in the 28-member European Union also impose language-based tests on visas and citizenship, the ruling from Brussels could foreshadow the judges’ thinking on laws throughout the bloc that condition legal residency on mastery of the official tongue. Latvia, for instance, requires a test for Latvian language that has resulted in the exclusion of much of its considerable Russian population from citizenship.

The EU already has laws mandating visa-free travel and residency among the member states. But Turkey is not yet a member of the alliance.

About 3 million Turks live and work in Germany and even many longtime residents return to their homeland to marry, then submit the paperwork for their spouses to join them.

Thursday’s ruling was based on a challenge brought by Turkish citizen Naime Dogan, who was denied a visa to join her husband in Germany in January 2012 when she couldn’t demonstrate basic proficiency in the German language.

German law was amended in 2007 to require the language skill in what was described then as an attempt to combat forced marriages and improve integration.

“The language requirement at issue goes beyond what is necessary in order to attain the objective” and serves to make family reunification more difficult, the court said.

The European Union embraces “multilingualism” as a core value for the continent, according to its agreed policy goals. But people from EU member states as well as those of the European Free Trade Association — Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland — are exempt from the language-proficiency test required by Germany.

Citizens from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United States also aren’t required to demonstrate German proficiency.

Photo via WikiCommons

Interested in world news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

President Joe Biden

As the nation's political press obsesses over the fate of the administration's Build Back Better proposal, nothing less than the ultimate success or failure of Joe Biden's presidency is said to be at stake. And yet here's the great paradox: taken separately, the elements of the Democrats' social spending proposals poll extremely well.

According to a recent CBS News poll, support for federal funding to reduce prescription drug prices is favored by 88 percent of American voters. Adding Medicare coverage of dental, eye and hearing polls at 84 percent. Another 73 percent back expanding paid family and medical leave. And 67 percent think that universal pre-kindergarten programs for three and four year olds are a good idea.

Keep reading... Show less

Dr. Anthony Fauci

By Humeyra Pamuk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vaccines for kids between the ages of 5 and 11 will likely be available in the first half of November, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Sunday, predicting a timetable that could see many kids getting fully vaccinated before the end of the year.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}