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 further restrictions on the free movement of persons. This year we witnessed the unprecedented election of a significant number of Members of the European Parliament with anti-migration and Eurosceptic mandates.
We are deeply concerned by these developments. We consider there to be a real risk that some governments may try to enlist the support of Eurosceptic MEPs to table amendments of the EU free movement rules based on speculative assumptions about the effects of free movement in the EU.
In order to counter these risks, we believe that it is important to seize the initiative and propose measures aimed at ensuring that the free movement rules work better for all EU citizens. Each of the Seven Strategies to improve the free movement of persons in the EU will be unveiled on a weekly basis every Wednesday over the course of the next few weeks on www.righttomove.eu.
We hope you will endorse the campaign and we thank you in advance for your support.
Assya Kavrakova, Director ECAS
Anthony Valcke, Legal Supervisor, EU Rights Clinic
* Read the press-release: Press_release 22.10.2014
* Read the First strategy: Strategy 1 – Directive 2004-38 should be recast into a Regulation
* For more information, please contact: Elisa Bruno, EU Policies and Outreach Manager – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +32 2 548 98 25