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The European Commission’s powers to enforce the EU’s free movement rules should be strengthened

The European Commission’s powers to enforce the EU’s free movement rules should be strengthened

Today, ECAS and the EU Rights Clinic are launching the second of Seven Strategies to improve the free movement of persons as part of the Right to Move campaign. The second strategy calls on the European Commission to be given enhanced powers of investigation to enforce the EU rules on the free movement of persons. Presently, the Commission’s powers to enforce the free movement rules are limited to launching formal infringement proceedings against Member States. These proceedings are cumbersome and can take several years to result in court action. The European Commission also retains a discretion as to which complaints to pursue as it is under no obligation to launch infringement actions. Several recent cases – namely, the expulsion of Roma from France, the short-lived reintroduction of border controls in Denmark and delays at the Gibraltar/Spain border – have shown that the Commission’s powers of investigation are limited. The Commission currently lacks the power to undertake unannounced inspections to investigate suspected infringements of the free movement rules. It cannot interview citizens or compel officials to provide testimony or to take other forms of evidence.  These are serious limitations on the Commission’s powers to investigate breaches of the EU’s free movement rules. Given that the free movement of persons is one of the cornerstones of the Single Market, the Commission needs to have stronger powers to investigate infringements. There is no justifiable reason why the free movement rules should remain the poorer cousin of the EU rules relating to the Schengen area or even the competition or air transport rules for that matter. Citizens deserve no less than a Commission...
Join us in the European Parliament for a seminar-event on Free Movement

Join us in the European Parliament for a seminar-event on Free Movement

ECAS is pleased to invite you to a lunchtime seminar “Free Movement in the EU Today: Challenges and Opportunities” organized together with Ms Jean Lambert, MEP on the 12th of November at the European Parliament, Brussels from 13.00 – 15.00, room ASP 5E1 (A light lunch will be available from 12.45) The meeting will shed light on the various current issues concerning free movement in the EU and will present the findings of an independent study on the “Fiscal impact of EU migrants in selected EU countries”. Based on this study and on recent developments in the field of the implementation of the right to free movement of persons in Europe, ECAS will also reveal seven concrete strategies to ensure that free movement rules can work better for all EU citizens. The keynote speakers of the Conference will be Mrs. Assya Kavrakova- Director of ECAS, Ms Jean Lambert- MEP, Mr. Latchezar Bogdanov- Open Society Institute – Sofia Board member and Industry Watch Managing partner and Mr. Anthony Valcke- EU Rights Clinic (ECAS – University of Kent in Brussels) Please RSVP through the Online form by the 30th October. If you need an access badge to enter the European Parliament please include your full name, date of birth, nationality, ID number and type of document (passport/ID card). If you have any inquiries, please contact us at elisa.bruno@ecas.org Download the...
ECAS and the EU Rights Clinic Launch the First Strategy

ECAS and the EU Rights Clinic Launch the First Strategy

  Today, ECAS and the EU Rights Clinic are launching the first of Seven Strategies to improve the free movement of persons as part of the Right to Move campaign. The first strategy calls upon the European Institutions to recast the Directive 2004/38 on residence rights into a Regulation, which would help to reduce divergences in administrative formalities in the EU and ensure that private companies and national administration alike respect free movement rights. Although this Directive has the objective of simplifying and strengthening residence formalities for EU citizens and their family members, Member States have used it as a pretext to tighten up their national rules governing EU rights of residence, for example as regards the conditions relating to healthcare insurance. As a result, EU citizens and their family members continue to face significant obstacles when trying to comply with residence and visa formalities. The Right to Move campaign consists in advocating for Seven Strategies to improve the free movement of persons in the EU. The proposed Seven Strategies aim to improve the application and understanding of the free movement of persons in the EU in order to alleviate the problems faced by thousands of EU citizens every year. For the first time in the EU’s history, we are hearing calls in several EU countries for rethinking  one of the cornerstones of the EU’s Single Market and the right which is most cherished by citizens in Europe today. In April last year, the Ministers of four EU Member States – the UK, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands – called  on the Irish Presidency of the European Council to consider...
ECAS team is running the Ekiden Race to improve the Free Movement in Europe: cheer them!

ECAS team is running the Ekiden Race to improve the Free Movement in Europe: cheer them!

The Ekiden Race is a Japanese Marathon Relay ran by a team of 6 runners, each of whom covers a different leg. The Race is meant to be a teambuilding activity, by bringing people together around a common goal, but it is also an opportunity to promote a good cause! This year a team composed of the staff of our organization will take part in the Race and will be running for the “Right To Move” campaign. This campaign aims to improve the Free Movement of persons in Europe by proposing concrete seven concrete strategies to achieve this goal that will be published individually in a weekly basis until de the end of November. On the day of the Race you will find members of our staff at the ‘meeting point’, who will give you further information about this campaign and about other services we provide. See you at the finishing line! #RigthToMove See the Charity section of the Marathon section...