Important ruling from the European Court of Justice on free movement

At the end of January, the Court of Justice of the European Community in Luxembourg made an important judgement on the relationship between the rules on the freedom of movement and the Schengen legal acts on refusing entry to foreigners. This judgement is of interest to Norway.

15/02/2006 :: Through the EEA Agreement with the EU, Norway is part of the internal marked with the freedom om movement for persons, goods, services and capital. In addition, Norway is associated with the activities of the EU in the Schengen area.

The European Commission brought proceedings against Spain before the Court of Justice of the European Communities following complaints from two Algerian nationals, who where married to Spanish nationals, living in Dublin and London. The Spanish authorities refused them entry into the Schengen Area simply because they had been placed, by Germany, on the SIS list of persons to be refused entry.

The Court underlines that the Schengen rules are applicable only if and in so far as they are compatible with EU and European Community law. Therefore, where third country nationals who are the spouses of Member State nationals are persons for whom alerts are entered in the Schengen Information System (SIS) for the purpose of refusing them entry, a Member State must verify whether the presence of those persons consitutes a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one fo the fundamental interests of society before refusing them entry into the Schengen Area. A member State which consults the SIS must be able to establish before refusing entry into the Schengen Area to the person concerned, that his presence in that area constitutes such a treat. The Court recalls, in that connection, that the Schengen system has the means to answer requests for information made by national authorities faced with difficulties in enforcing an alert.

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