EWL News

EWL and partners announce a European Parliament hearing on family reunification legislation

[Brussels, 27 October 2011] The European Women’s Lobby (EWL), the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the European Network of Migrant Women (ENoMW) are delighted to announce a Hearing at the European Parliament entitled “Family Reunification legislation in Europe: is it discriminatory for migrant women?”, on 10 November 2011. The Hearing will be open for anybody who wishes to attend, and promises to provide a lively debate on the current situation of how family reunification legislation affects migrant women.


Family reunification has been one of the major sources of legal immigration to the European Union over the last decades. According to Eurostat data almost 750,000 migrants arrived in EU Member States in 2010 for the purpose of family reunification. In mid-November, the European Commission
plans to issue a Green Paper on the Right to Family Reunification in order to launch a debate on current EU legislation in this area (Directive 2003/86/EC). Following its assessment of the views expressed by stakeholders, the Commission will decide on future steps, including a potential amendment to the current Directive.

About the event

The European Women’s Lobby, ICMPD and the European Network of Migrant Women have organised this hearing in the European Parliament on current EU Member State family reunification policies, emphasising the need for migration and integration policies to be gender sensitive as they affect
migrant women and migrant men in a different way.

In particular, the hearing will provide an opportunity for considering the implications of current policies for the future integration perspectives of migrant women into society and the labour market based on the experiences from the EU Network of Migrant Women and the findings from recent
research initiatives such as MIPEX III and studies conducted by ICMPD.
Therefore, interlinkages between the EU family reunification legal framework, the EU agenda on integration and the EU guidelines on violence against women and girls will receive special attention.

Speakers at the event will include MEPs from several political groups as well as academics and researchers from various backgrounds.


The programme currently stands as follows:

14.00 - 15.00 Registration

15.00 - 15.10

  • Ms. Cécile Gréboval, Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL)
  • Mr. Ralph Genetzke, Head of Mission of the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), Brussels

Session I: 15:10 – 16:30 h
The Current Situation regarding the Implementation of the Family Reunification Directive in the EU

Chair: Ms Selmin Caliskan, European Women’s Lobby

  • Ms. Judith Sargentini, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
  • Mr. Thomas Huddleston, Migration Policy Group
  • Ms. Nadja Hirsch, ALDE (to be confirmed)
  • Mr. Dennis de Jong, Confederal Group of the European United Left - Nordic Green Left
  • Ms. Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, European People’s Party (to be confirmed)
  • Ms. Borbala Szigeti, Administrator, Immigration and Integration Unit, DG Home Affairs, European Commission

16.10-16.30 Discussion

16:30 – 16.50 Coffee Break

Session II: 16.50 – 18:30 h
Family Reunification Policies and their Consequences on Migrant Women’s Lives

Chair: Ms. Selmin Caliskan (EWL)

  • Ms. Nusha YONKOVA, Anti-Trafficking Project Coordinator at Immigrant’s Council Ireland, European Network of Migrant Women
  • Mr. Bernhard Perchinig, Researcher, International Centre for Migration Policy Development, Vienna
  • Ms. Doris Peschke, Executive Secretary Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe, Brussels Ms. Eleonore Kofman, Professor of Gender, Migration and Citizenship and Co-director of the Social Policy Research Centre at Middlesex University, London

The hearing will take place from 15:00 – 18:30 on 10 November in the European Parliament, Room
ASP 1G3.


Due to EP regulations, registrations for the event must be received by Friday 28 October.

To register for the event, please send an email to Markus Sperl (Markus.Sperl@icmpd.org), including attendees’ full name, date of birth and address.

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