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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 16 October 2014

Commission takes Austria to Court of Justice over non-compliance with EU-Turkey association agreement

The European Commission has decided to refer Austria to the Court of Justice to ensure that the Austrian establishment and residence legislation fully reflects the rights of workers of Turkish nationality and their families, in line with the EU-Turkey association law based on the Ankara agreement.

Austrian legislation since 1995 includes dispositions which result in a worsening of the legal situation of Turkish workers and family members in this respect. The Commission considers that this is in breach of the standstill clauses of the EU - Turkey association law. This law is binding on Austria since accession to the EU.

For instance, the minimum age for spouses to be eligible for family reunification has been raised from 18 to 21 and more restrictive rules on literacy and language requirements have been introduced. The Commission takes the view that Austria needs to adopt the necessary amendments to its law.


The Commission sent a Reasoned Opinion to Austria on this matter in April 2014. Austria upheld its position, which is why the case is now being referred to the Court of Justice.

On the October month's infringement package decisions: MEMO/14/589

On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12

For more information on infringement procedures:

Contacts :

Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)

Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail

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