Free Movement is one of the fundamental rights of EU citizens. The benefits it brings should not be compromised. The four fundamental freedoms constitute the core of European law and must be fully respected. Labour mobility in the EU is key for the economic recovery and success of Europe.
The right balance between security measures and Free Movement
- The EU should engage in a debate on the need for security measures on the basis of objective evidence, and ensure their compatibility with the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
- The EU should create an inter-institutional task-force on security cooperation to study the impact of EU counterterrorism legislation on free movement rules and citizen’s rights.
- An independent expert group should review European policies for their compatibility with European rights and freedoms and monitor their implementation. Special focus should be placed on data protection and privacy, in accordance with EU legislation and the case law of the EU Court of Justice.
Improving the Freedom of Movement
- The role of the European Commission should be strengthened so that it can investigate and enforce the free movement rules more efficiently and fulfil its mission as guardian of the EU Treaties.
- Member States should deepen their collaboration on the free movement of persons, with an expert group to research and share information on best practices. Existing rules must be better enforced.
- Civil Society groups should be empowered to inform and assist mobile citizens to ensure that they can effectively exercise their rights.
- All political actors and institutions in the EU and its Member States must abstain from exploiting the issue of free movement for populist campaigns, which sows xenophobic and Eurosceptic sentiments.
Freedom of Movement is increasingly under pressure in the European Union. Recent (attempted) terrorist attacks in the EU call for a European response, and a number of new security measures are being discussed on the European level. Recently suggested policy responses are, however, likely to impact the free movement of persons and could encourage violations of principles such as non-discrimination on the basis of nationality. The ongoing negotiations on a European Passenger Name Record (PNR), which have been the subject of controversy before, are a case in point. This autumn, inter-institutional negotiations on the PNR will continue, and the Justice and Home Affairs Council will discuss the Commission’s PNR proposal on 8/9 October and 3/4 December 2015.
News on this policy
20th November 2015 – Upholding Freedom of Movement and EU Citizens’ Rights in the PNR Directive
15th October 2015 – Migration and the Refugee Crisis: a European response
7th October 2015 – A checklist for Hollande and Merkel
Events on this policy
Security or Rights – Does it have to be an either-or question?
Press releases on this policy
10th March 2016 – European Movement open letter to Commissioner Avramopoulos receives cross-party support
21st April 2015 – EMI statement on migration in the Mediterranean
13th May 2015 – EMI welcomes plans for responsibility sharing in EU Agenda on Migration
Other publications on this policy
27th April 2015 – Resolution on safeguarding the Freedom of Movement in light of new security measures
9th September 2015 – Freedom of Movement one pager – final
9th May 2015 – 2014.10 EMI Briefing Note on the freedom of movement, asylum and immigration
29th October 2014 – EMI Briefing Note on the freedom of movement asylum and immigration
27th April 2015 – Resolution on safeguarding the Freedom of Movement in light of new security measures – ADOPTED
18th February 2016 – EM International video on free movement: Bringing Us Together