Article 7 - Respect for private and family life
Article 24 - The rights of the child
Key facts of the case:
The plaintiff, a citizen of Vietnam, wife of a foreign national legally residing in the Czech Republic and mother of two minors, had been living in the Czech Republic illegally for two years. She tried to legalise her stay multiple times, including traveling back to Vietnam and trying to apply for a long-term visa there, but she was not able to get her application through the Visapoint system (an online application system through which a meeting can be arranged to apply for a visa in person). The defendant issued a decision for administrative expulsion. The plaintiff initiated legal proceedings against the decision and the Municipal Court in Prague cancelled the decision. The defendant appealed the court’s decision, but the Supreme Administrative Court upheld the decision of the lower court. The court claimed that the decision represents a disproportionate intervention in the plaintiff’s private and family life. According to § 119 Paragraph 2 and § 174a of the Act on Residence of Foreign Nationals in the Czech Republic, a breach of alien law may result in administrative expulsion, but there must be a certain level of disruption to public order in order for the disruption of private and family life that administrative expulsion causes to be deemed proportionate. It is not the right of a foreign national to reside in the Czech Republic, but in the case of family life in the Czech Republic the right to stay arises from EU law - Article 7 and 24 of the Charter and Directive No. 2003/86/ES. In this case the plaintiff had earlier been living in the Czech Republic legally for many years, she spoke Czech, her husband and children reside legally in the country, and she had tried many times to legalise her stay. It is not possible for the family to move to Vietnam and she cannot move there alone because it would not be in the best interest of their two pre-school children in the terms of Article 24 Paragraph 2 of the Charter.
Outcome of the case:
A breach of alien law may result in administrative expulsion only if it causes a certain level of disruption to public order that would allow the disruption of private and family life that administrative expulsion causes to be deemed proportionate. It is not the right of a foreign national to reside in the Czech Republic, but in the case of family life in the Czech Republic the right to stay arises from EU law - Article 7 and 24 of the Charter and Directive No. 2003/86/ES.
In the context of the Directive on the Right to Family Reunification the CJEU notes a connection to the protection of fundamental rights: ‘Article 7 of the Charter, which outlines the rights that correspond to those guaranteed by Article 8(1) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, recognises the right to respect for private and family life. That provision of the Charter must also be read in conjunction with the obligation to take into account a child’s best interests, recognised in Article 24(2) of the Charter, and with the need, expressed in Article 24(3), for a child to maintain on a regular basis a personal relationship with both parents’ (see the judgment of the CJEU from 6 December 2012, Complaint No. C-356/11 O. and S., Paragraph 76).
SDEU v souvislosti s výkladem směrnice o právu na sloučení rodiny připomenul její návaznost na ochranu základních práv: „Článek 7 [Listiny základních práv Evropské unie (dále jen „LZP EU“)], který obsahuje práva odpovídající právům zaručeným čl. 8 odst. 1 Evropské úmluvy o ochraně lidských práv a základních svobod, uznává právo na respektování soukromého a rodinného života. Toto ustanovení [LZP EU] musí být mimoto vykládáno ve spojení s povinností zohlednit nejvlastnější zájem dítěte, uznanou v čl. 24 odst. 2 [LZP EU], přičemž je třeba přihlédnout k nutnosti, aby dítě udržovalo pravidelné osobní vztahy s oběma rodiči, vyjádřené v odstavci 3 téhož článku“ (viz rozsudek SDEU ze dne 6. 12. 2012, C-356/11 O. a S., bod 76).