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Free movement of people: five actions to benefit citizens, growth and employment

Dec 2, 2013 | News

(25 November 2013) – The joint responsibility of Member States and the EU institutions to uphold EU citizens’ rights to live and work in another EU country is underlined in a policy paper just adopted by the European Commission.

The policy paper clarifies EU citizens’ rights to free movement and access to social benefits, and addresses the concerns raised by some Member States in relation to the challenges that migration flows can represent for local authorities.

With over 14 million EU citizens resident in another Member State, free movement – or the ability to live, work and study anywhere in the Union – is the EU right most cherished by Europeans. EU workers have been benefitting from this right since the dawn of the European Union, with the principle enshrined in the first European Treaty of Rome in 1957.

To address concerns in some EU Member States about the implementation of free movement rules on the ground, the Commission sets out five actions to help national and local authorities to: Fight marriages of convenience; Apply EU social security coordination rules; Address social inclusion challenges; Promote the exchange of best practices amongst local authorities; Ensure the application of EU free movement rules on the ground.

Today 47% of EU citizens say that the problems they encounter when they go to live in another EU country are due to the fact that officials in local administrations are not sufficiently familiar with EU citizens’ free movement rights.

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