European Law

In more and more cases, Dutch immigration law is governed by European law. As a consequence, the Netherlands as an EU Member State is not entirely free to determine the immigration rules, but must adhere to the European rules. These rules include both Union citizens (with the right to free movement of persons and services) as well as non-Europeans. The latter category includes the non-EU family members of Union citizens as well as European rules for non-Europeans with regard to family reunification, the EU Blue Card, intra-corporate transfers, permanent residency, students etc.

This means that it is very important to know the national rules as well as the European rules. Frequently, national rules do not apply due to conflicting European law.

Scheers Advocacy has extensive knowledge of and experience with the European rules. Erik Scheers has already delved deeply into the European family reunification-Directive during his study and was awarded the prestigious Hanneke Steenbergen Prize for his thesis in 2004. From that time on, the main focus of his work with the IND, the Court and as a lawyer, was European law. This has resulted in several cases with very positive outcomes. Examples include the case in which the High Court (Raad van State) decided that the strict policy on residence gaps for permanent residence permit-applicants is contrary to European law. Other examples are cases in which the European Court decided that Dutch policies violate the right to free movement with regard to the intra-EU cross-border services, as well as non-EU family members of frontier workers. In different cases partners of EU-citizens have been entitled to continuous residence after divorce or death of the EU-citizen.

Erik Scheers is also involved in complaints-procedures to the European Commission about the Dutch interpretation of the European fraud concept, the Union preference clause for new EU citizens (see also the headlines of Dutch newspaper Trouw) and the unmotivated decisions by the highest Dutch courts in relation to questions about European law.

Looking for an experienced European law lawyer?

For more information on the application of European law in your specific situation, please contact Scheers Advocacy.


For a list of publications in Dutch please refer to the Dutch EU-law page.