Our Franco-American family exists today because of those policies - the right of EU citizens and legal residents to bring those they love to live with them in an EU member state. Today these rights are being challenged in some countries and have been diminished in others even though the EU Directive 2003/86/EC, firmly lays down the EU's position: "Family reunification is a necessary way of making family life possible. It helps to create sociocultural stability facilitating the integration of third country nationals in the Member State, which also serves to promote economic and social cohesion, a fundamental Community objective stated in the Treaty."
As I wrote in my original post last December, it used to be true that many EU states went above and beyond the minimum requirements to comply with the EU directive but in recent years a few have passed more onerous entry requirements (Denmark, for example). Other states are taking note and considering similar actions. It is reported that both the U.K. and the Netherlands are looking closely at Danish policy. What kind of changes are being proposed? Education and income requirements, pre-entry tests (designed to measure the capacity of the person to assimilate), long waits for processing, application fees and "proof of attachment" to the host country are all possibilities.
In response to this flagrant disregard for EU policy the EU is holding a consultation. They say they want to hear from all the stakeholders in this policy before they take action: migrants and migrant rights organizations, family-members of EU citizens or legal residents wishing to come to the EU, member-states and even other states outside the EU. Yes, the last have an interest in this too. Countries of origin sometimes see other state's liberal family reunification policies as quite dangerous to their interests - it can diminish remittances, help migrants to integrate in the host country (not necessarily a good thing from their point of view), and reduce the likelihood that their people will one day return to the home country.
To get a good idea for the issues around this topic, have a look at the MIPEX blog and Thomas Huddleston's slides from the webinar they held late last year:
I've heard many complaints about the EU being too bureaucratic and not responsive to the wishes and opinions of EU people. Well, they do seem serious about getting feedback on this so I strongly urge everyone with an interest in this topic (and I think just about everyone is concerned since you never know who you might fall in love with) to use this opportunity well and wisely. The deadline is March 1, 2012. Contact details are here. They accept contributions via both email and regular mail.