Key facts of the case:
‛Citizenship of the Union — Article 20 TFEU — Right of residence of third-country nationals who are family members of a Union citizen who has not exercised his right of freedom of movement — Fundamental rights’
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Second Chamber) hereby rules:
Article 20 TFEU must be interpreted as not precluding a Member State from refusing to allow a third-country national to reside in its territory, where that third-country national wishes to reside with a family member who is a European Union citizen residing in the Member State of which he holds the nationality and has never exercised his right of freedom of movement as a Union citizen, provided such refusal does not lead, for the Union citizen concerned, to the denial of the genuine enjoyment of the substance of the rights conferred by virtue of his status as a Union citizen.
1) Thus, the referring court considers that the question which arises is whether, on the basis of Article 20 TFEU and, potentially, certain provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’) a right to family reunification in Luxembourg may be conferred on the family members of Mr Kreshnik Ymeraga.
22) In those circumstances, the Cour administrative decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the following question to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling: ‘To what extent does the fact of being a citizen of the Union and the related right to reside in the country of which a Union citizen is a national, as provided for by Article 20 of the TFEU, along with the rights, guarantees and obligations laid down in the Charter ... and in particular and insofar as is relevant, ... Articles 20, 21, 24, 33 and 34 [thereof], confer a right to family reunification upon a sponsor who is a citizen of the Union and wishes to bring about, in the country in which he resides and of which he holds the nationality, the reunification with himself of his mother and father and two of his brothers, all of whom are third-country nationals, where he has not exercised his right to freedom of movement and has not resided in a Member State other than that of which he holds the nationality?’
40) As to the fundamental rights mentioned by the referring court, it must be borne in mind that, in accordance with Article 51(1) of the Charter, its provisions are addressed to the Member States only when they are implementing European Union law. Under Article 51(2) thereof, the Charter does not extend the field of application of European Union law beyond the powers of the Union, and it does not establish any new power or task for the Union, or modify powers and tasks as defined in the Treaties. Accordingly, the Court is called on to interpret, in the light of the Charter, the law of the European Union within the limits of the powers conferred on it (see Dereci and Others, paragraph 71, and Iida, paragraph 78).
41) To determine whether the Luxembourg authorities’ refusal to grant Mr Kreshnik Ymeraga’s family members a right of residence as family members of a Union citizen is a situation involving the implementation of European Union law within the meaning of Article 51 of the Charter, it must be ascertained among other things whether the national legislation at issue is intended to implement a provision of European Union law, what the character of that legislation is, and whether it pursues objectives other than those covered by European Union law, even if it is capable of indirectly affecting that law, and also whether there are specific rules of European Union law on the matter or capable of affecting it (see Case C-309/96 Annibaldi  ECR I-7493, paragraphs 21 to 23, and Iida, paragraph 79).
43) In those circumstances, the Luxembourg authorities’ refusal to grant Mr Kreshnik Ymeraga’s family members a right of residence as family members of a Union citizen is not a situation involving the implementation of European Union law within the meaning of Article 51 of the Charter, so that its conformity with fundamental rights cannot be examined in the light of the rights established by the Charter.