Request for a preliminary ruling from the Juzgado de lo Contencioso-Administrativo No 17 de Barcelona (Spain) lodged on 2 July 2019 — UQ v Subdelegación del Gobierno en Barcelona

(Case C-503/19)

Language of the case: Spanish

Referring court

Juzgado de lo Contencioso-Administrativo No 17 de Barcelona

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: UQ

Defendant: Subdelegación del Gobierno en Barcelona

Questions referred

1.    Whether an interpretation by the national courts under which the existence of any form of criminal record is sufficient grounds for refusing long-term resident status is compliant with Article 6(1) and Article 17 of Directive 2003/109. 1

2.    Whether, in addition to the existence of a criminal record, the national courts should take account of other factors, such as the severity and length of the sentence, the danger the applicant represents to society, the duration of the applicant’s prior legal residence and the links he has formed with the country, and make an assessment that takes all these elements into account.

3.    Whether Article 6(1) of the directive should be interpreted as precluding a rule of national law that allows long-term resident status under Article 4 to be refused on public policy or public security grounds without establishing the assessment criteria included in Article 6(1) and Article 17.

4.    Whether Article 6(1) and Article 17 of Directive 2003/109 should be interpreted as meaning that, under the case-law established by the Court of Justice that directives have vertical direct effect, the national court has authority to apply the content of Article 6(1) and Article 17 directly, and may do so in order to assess a criminal record, having regard to the gravity of the offence, the length of the sentence, and the danger represented by the applicant.

5.    Whether EU law, in particular the right to obtain long-term resident status, and the principles of clarity, transparency and intelligibility, should be interpreted as precluding an interpretation by the Spanish courts of Articles 147 to 149 of Royal Decree 557/2011 and Article 32 of Organic Law 4/2000 under which long-term resident status may be refused on public policy and public security grounds, even though those provisions do not set out clearly and transparently that these shall be grounds for refusal.

6.    Whether a provision of national law and its interpretation by the courts that hinder access to long-term resident status and encourage temporary residence are compliant with the principle that Directive 2003/19 must have practical effect, and with Article 6(1) in particular.’

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1 Council Directive 2003/109/EC of 25 November 2003 concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents (OJ 2004 L 16, p. 44).