The Equality Challenge
Edited by Sonia Morano-Foadi and Micaela Malena
Chapter 12: Long-term residents’ integration in Spain at a crossroads: rights-based approach or downhill towards restrictiveness?
This chapter looks at the relationship between the law and integration of third-country nationals, paying special attention to long-term residence status. It assesses the extent to which Spain is being influenced by new ideas on that relationship deriving from European Union (EU) policies and debates and, most notably, from new practices in some Member States such as France and the Netherlands. Indeed, these and other Member States have, in the last few years, imposed new legal obligations on third-country nationals to prove integration before accessing rights, such as family reunification or the acquisition of long-term residence. It may be argued, with caution, that Spain has pursued a rights-based approach in its treatment of third-country nationals in the last decade. ‘This approach is based on the assumption that universal and equal fundamental rights should apply to all individuals within the boundaries of the Community, irrespective of their country of origin’. In line with this argument, this chapter analyses policy and legislative developments, adopted or discussed mostly during 2011, to see whether Spain is changing its previous approach to the role that law may play in the integration of third-country nationals.
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