On 8 December 2016, the Belgian court submitted prejudicial questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) concerning the issuing of humanitarian visas to a Christian Syrian family. The central question is whether international treaties and European Union law can oblige consuls and embassies of EU Member States to issue a humanitarian visa. This document (written as an advice- written on a pro bono basis – for the benefit of the lawyer of the Syrians) will discuss developments in the European Union with regard to humanitarian visas, the interpretation of the Visa Code in light of the Schengen Borders Code, the entitlement of the Syrian family in this case to asylum protection, the conditions in Lebanon as a ‘safe third country’ and the argument that a positive judgment of the Court will open the ‘floodgates’. The Conclusion of Advocate General Mengozzi was published on 7 February. In the judgment of 7 March 2017, the Court ruled that the issue is not covered by European law, but merely by domestic law (which includes inetrnational human rights law) . This judgment is addressed in my Bifurcation paper.
Thomas Spijkerboer, Evelien Brouwer and Yussef Al Tamimi: Advice in Case C-638/16 PPU, January 5, 2017.