Article 7 - Respect for private and family life
Article 24 - The rights of the child
Key facts of the case:
Request for a preliminary ruling from the Bundesverwaltungsgericht.
Reference for a preliminary ruling – Common policy on asylum and subsidiary protection – Standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection – Directive 2011/95/EU – Articles 3 and 23 – More favourable standards capable of being retained or introduced by the Member States for the purposes of extending the refugee or subsidiary protection status of a beneficiary of international protection to family members – Grant of a parent’s refugee status to his or her minor child as a derived right – Maintaining family unity – Best interests of the child.
Outcome of the case:
On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby rules:
Article 3 and Article 23(2) of Directive 2011/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted must be interpreted as not precluding a Member State from granting, under more favourable national provisions, as a derived right and for the purpose of maintaining family unity, refugee status to the minor child of a third-country national who has been recognised as having that status under the system established by that directive, including in the case where that child was born in the territory of that Member State and, through that child’s other parent, has the nationality of another third country in which he or she would not be at risk of persecution, provided that the child is not caught by a ground for exclusion referred to in Article 12(2) of that directive and that the child is not, through his or her nationality or any other element characterising his or her personal legal status, entitled to better treatment in that Member State than that resulting from the grant of refugee status. It is not relevant in that regard to ascertain whether it is possible and reasonably acceptable for the child and the child’s parents to move to that other third country.
27) As a preliminary point, it should be recalled that it is apparent from the settled case-law of the Court that the provisions of Directive 2011/95 must be interpreted in the light of its general scheme and purpose, in a manner consistent with the Geneva Convention and the other relevant treaties referred to in Article 78(1) TFEU. As is apparent from recital 16, that directive must also be interpreted in a manner consistent with the rights recognised by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’) (see, to that effect, judgment of 13 January 2021, Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Refugee status of a stateless person of Palestinian origin), C‑507/19, EU:C:2021:3, paragraph 39).
55) That interpretation of the reservation in Article 23(2) of Directive 2011/95 takes full account of the best interests of the child, in the light of which that provision must be interpreted and applied. Recital 16 of that directive expressly states that it respects the fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter and that it seeks to promote the application, in particular, of the right to respect for family life, guaranteed by Article 7 thereof, and the rights of the child, recognised by Article 24 of the Charter, which include, in paragraph 2 of the latter provision, the obligation to have regard to his or her best interests (see, to that effect, judgment of 9 September 2021, Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Family member), C‑768/19, EU:C:2021:709, paragraphs 36 to 38).