EPRS Admin By / February 15, 2020

First-instance decisions 2015-2018 by outcome

First-instance decisions 2015-2018, by outcome

First-instance decisions 2015-2018, by outcome

As the UNHCR points out, separation of family members can have devastating consequences on people’s well-being and ability to rebuild their lives. While this holds true for everybody, it is especially relevant for persons who have fled persecution or serious harm and have lost family during forced displacement and flight. Furthermore, family separation can affect the ability of beneficiaries of international protection to engage in many aspects of the integration process, from education and employment to putting down roots, while also harming their physical and emotional health. Family reunification is therefore a fundamental aspect of bringing normality back to such persons’ lives.
After 2015, most EU Member States witnessed a significant increase in the numbers of asylum-seekers arriving in their territory. During the peak migration flows to the EU from 2015 to 2017, the Member States issued more than 2 million first-instance decisions. One consequence has been an increase in the number of beneficiaries of international protection seeking reunification with their families. However, in order to establish some form of control over this unprecedented flow of people, Member States shifted from awarding refugee status towards granting subsidiary protection, thus restricting the possibility beneficiaries to reunite with their families.

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