As an EU citizen, I have the right to reunite with my family members, even if they are non-EU citizens. So if an embassy isn't fulfilling their responsibilities and never gives a valid reason for not considering my case, or even respond to my emails and phone calls, can I sue them?

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    Note that you don't have an absolute right, and that only applies outside if living or returning from an EU country that isn't your own. What is your nationality, what country are you living in, and which embassy isn't proving helpful? – Gagravarr Jun 16 '16 at 11:09
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    OK, I started to write an answer detailing your rights and options under EU law but in fact it does not apply here. Your being an EU citizens is not relevant, only Italian law is. – Gala Jun 16 '16 at 11:22
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    even according to the italian law, family members of an Italian or EU citizens means the family members listed in Article 2 of Legislative Decree no. 30/2007 which can be viewed at the following link; (esteri.it/mae/normative/normativa_consolare/visti/… ) that means : - The spouse of an Italian citizen; - The descendants (children, grandchildren) aged up to 21 years of Italian citizen or of the spouse; - Ascendants (parents, grandparents), which the Italian citizen or of the spouse; in this case the italian law isn't that much different than that of EU! – Sayed A. Jun 16 '16 at 11:27
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    I have no idea about the extent of your rights to family reunion or the procedural aspects of it under Italian law but generally speaking you can't "sue" an embassy per se, certainly not in front of foreign court (at least not effectively). Conceptually, such a decision can be regarded as a decision of the whole state, not so much of the embassy itself. Again, I don't know much about Italy but what you should be able to do is to lodge some sort of appeal against any negative decision in front of the local administrative courts. – Gala Jun 16 '16 at 11:27
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    @ZicoArch Yes, most countries have something like that, it's regarded as a basic human right in Europe nowadays. But talking about being an "EU citizen" is confusing because an entirely different set of laws and procedures apply and the details can matter. Incidentally, the expatriation angle in your question is not really clear. – Gala Jun 16 '16 at 11:29

You cannot "sue" the embassy per se and you certainly cannot (effectively) do that in front of foreign courts. What you can do will depend entirely on the country in question (even within the EU) but basically it will be similar to what you can do against adverse decisions (or silence) from the authorities back in the sending country (not the country where the embassy is located but the country it represents).

The details vary a lot, some countries, including Italy, have an entirely separate court system (administrative courts) for that purpose. But if it goes that far, you will definitely need a lawyer and he or she should be able to advise you on the options available (going through some informal or formal appeal process might also be worthwhile or even necessary before going to court).

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I believe you're asking the wrong question. Assuming your main goal is to actually get your family EU citizenship/residence/entrance, what you may need to consider is legal action within the legal system of the specific EU state of which you are a resident (and which you also want your family to move to). That is, if an administrative organ is not carrying out its function, you can usually ask a court of law to order that an action be taken.

Of course, you would need to consult a lawyer or at least someone with relevant legal experience on this matter.

If you want to try to "punish" or demand some sort of accountability or compensation, that may or may not be possible, but as other answers suggest it will definitely be very difficult. Try getting in contact with civil society legal-oriented NGOs which deal with immigration rights, which might be able to suggest avenues of struggle against such practices.

Finally, remember that you are obviously biased in favor of yourself, so before you consider any 'offensive' action (such as a lawsuit) you should be able to convince neutral parties well enough of the validity of your arguments against how the embassy handled your case.

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    You're confusing many things in a rather unhelpful way. If you are trying to get your spouse to live with you in your country of citizenship, then you do indeed need to consider legal action within the country of the specific EU state of which you are citizen. But then EU law has little or no bearing so it does not really make sense to talk of “EU citizenship/residence/entrance*. On the other hand, if you want to settle in another EU country, then you should fight your way through the legal system of that country, and not in your country of citizenship. – Gala Jun 18 '16 at 18:25
  • So either way, it's really your country of residence or destination (the sending country of the embassy in question). – Gala Jun 18 '16 at 18:25
  • @Gala: But OP did not mention a different country as a destination. Now referring to residence rather than citizenship. – einpoklum Oct 11 '17 at 15:36

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