Fact File Cecilia Malmström, the European commissioner for home affairs, will next week (15 November) ask member states how to deal with problems raised by immigrants’ right to family reunification. This is a highly divisive topic in several member states, including Denmark and the Netherlands, where public debate has focused on cases of fraud and lack of effective controls. The consultation is preparation for the planned revision of the 2003 EU directive on the matter, and legislative proposals are expected in 2013. The current rules allow wide scope for member states to set their own conditions for permitting non-EU citizens resident in the EU to be joined by spouses and children. The Commission wants to streamline the rules and clarify some of the definitions, in part so that it will be easier to clamp down on fraudulent marriages. Lack of definition Although the right to family reunification features repeatedly in international treaties and conventions, there is no legally binding definition of ‘family’. The principle remains unassailable, but many European governments are unhappy with the unintended effects, as family reunification is becoming a principal avenue for legal immigration to western Europe, often invoked by migrants who would not otherwise qualify for entry. Malmström is expected to use the revision of the directive not only to tighten the rules, but also to strengthen standards and policies on integration of migrants and their families in host societies. Under an earlier agreement, Denmark does not implement EU legislation in the field of justice and home affairs. However, its new government wants to hold a referendum – as yet unscheduled – to allow it to opt into EU legislation, on the model applied by the UK and Ireland, or even to participate fully in EU decision-making in the field. Home affairs funding 2014-20 The college ofcommissioners is next week (15 November) expected to ask for close to€9.5 billion in EU funding for home affairs programmes in 2014-20, upfrom €6.4bn in the current period (2007-13). The programmes are to beimplemented through just two funds, one for asylum and migration, andone for internal security, instead of the current six funds. The newset-up is intended to simplify the allocation and disbursement offunding and to provide more flexibility in reacting to crises. The commissioners will discuss funding for justice, citizenship andfundamental rights programmes for 2014-20 at their weekly meeting on 23November. The new proposals are more specific than the headline figures proposed by the Commission in June and willnow be subject to negotiations with member states and MEPs.
Skate, surf, and lifestyle apparel company Vans has released a new, limited-edition line of custom sneakers and clothing in collaboration with one of southern California’s hottest musicians at the moment, Anderson .Paak.Officially released this past Friday just in time for the holiday shopping season, the company’s new collection of footwear and clothing in partnership with the Grammy-nominated artist comes as he’s signed on with the popular lifestyle and sports brand as their first-ever “Global Music Ambassador.” The line includes customized editions of Vans’ Sid DX and Old Skool DX shoes, which were themed around .Paak’s 2016 Malibu and 2014 Venice studio albums, and come with matching bucket hats. The line which is meant to represent the laid-back lifestyles of both parties also includes an “Old Skool Backpack” in the same color scheme as the Old Skool DX shoes, and made of corduroy (the cloth of kings).Related: Anderson .Paak Starts Coloring Club For Kids In QuarantineScroll down to check out the Vans promo video for the new collection, along with some photos of the exclusive apparel line. Click here to shop the entire collection on the Vans website.[H/T Hypebeast]