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Germany says language test necessary for better integration.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Guenter Krings, a deputy interior minister, said on Thursday that the German government would "examine carefully" the implications of a European Union court ruling against German language tests, which he describes as necessary for the successful integration of the spouses of Turkish immigrants.

The court ruled on Thursday that Germany can't require the spouses of Turkish immigrants to show basic knowledge of the German language as a condition for being granted a visa.

He said in order to ensure successful integration, Germany requires at least a basic knowledge of the German language and noted that he still believes this requirement of German government is necessary.

Krings also stressed that the ruling only applies only to Turkish nationals. Immigrants' spouses from other countries will still have to prove knowledge of the German language, he said in a statement.

Since 2007, Berlin has required the spouses of long-term immigrants from outside the EU who want to join their partners in Germany to take a language test. The stated aim of the rule was to prevent forced marriages and improve the integration of immigrants.

However, the European Court of Justice ruled that, in the case of Turkish immigrants, the requirement clashes with an EU-Turkey accord from the early 1970s that prohibited "the introduction of new restrictions on the freedom of establishment."

The court ruled after considering the case of a Turkish woman who was refused a visa to join her husband -- a businessman who has lived in Germany since 1998 -- because she didn't know the language well enough.

While the specific case in question dealt with Turkish nationals only, the court added that the language measure in general was disproportionate.

"[Even] on the assumption that the grounds set out by the German Government [the prevention of forced marriages] can constitute overriding reasons in the public interest, it remains the case that a national provision such as the language requirement at issue goes beyond what is necessary," the ECJ said.

Authorities would need to assess the whole picture rather than automatically deny a family a reunification visa if the applicant did not speak German, the court said.

Germany's lower house of parliament also passed new citizenship laws last week relaxing some of the strictest rules in Europe to allow young Germans of foreign origin to hold two passports -- a move that benefits the large Turkish community.

Until now, children of immigrants from most non-EU countries have had to choose at the age of 23 between German citizenship or that of their parents' country of origin.

The dual-passport prohibition has long rankled the roughly 3 million people of Turkish origin living in Germany, just under half of whom have taken German citizenship.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Jul 11, 2014
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