ECAS Knowledge Centre
Freedom of Movement in the EU
European Citizens' Initiative (ECI)
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Practices across the Union vary considerably. The time, money and efforts needed to prepare applications is highly variable, and there are frequent administrative burdens. Availability of information also varies. While some nations (generally Western European nations) provide clear, accessible and user-friendly information online; others (notably Germany and Italy) provide patchy and uneven information. Information hotlines leave much to be desired across the Union. Recommendations include creating single contact points within relevant administrations and providing training to national authorities on free movement rights.
This study provides an overview of the situation of migrants from Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries in Germany, with this chapter particularly focusing on the labour market integration of EaP migrants, their access to social assistance and social services, and the impact of these flows on the German labour market. We then provide an informed view of the scope for future increased mobility between Germany and EaP countries, in the light of the skills needs and demographic trends expected in the next 10 to 20 years. Based on the results, the following conclusions can be drawn. More than half of EaP migrants come to Germany for work and study purposes. Family reunification is important for Ukrainians and Moldovans. Work and family purposes are the two main residence grounds for migrants from Moldova and Ukraine, while the other nationalities hold residence permits for reasons of study and work in most cases.
A8 immigrants who are eligible to receive state benefits are 60% less likely to claim for them than the native population -- and are 13% less likely to do so adjusting for demographics. Since 2004, A8 migrants have made net contributions to public finances. Immigrants also tend to be more highly educated, more likely to participate in the job market, and have much higher employment rates.
The free movement of workers is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (EU). Therefore, EU citizens are entitled to look for a job in another EU country; work there without needing a work permit; reside there for that purpose; stay there even after employment has finished and enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages. But how many EU citizens take advantage of this right, and reside and work in another EU Member State? Which are the main countries, both in absolute and relative terms? What are the characteristics of these "mobile" citizens, especially in terms of level of education and employment rate, if we compare them with the "non-mobile" EU citizens (those residing in their country of citizenship)? These are the main questions which this article tries to answer, based on Eurostat's (new) datasets on labour mobility.
3.8% of European Union (EU) citizens of working age (20-64) were residing in another Member State than that oftheir citizenship in 2017. This share has increased from 2.5% ten years ago. The situation varies among Member States, ranging from 1.0% for working age citizens of Germany to 19.7% for citizens of Romania. Tertiary graduates are generally more mobile than the rest of the population. 32.4% of mobile EU citizens have tertiary education, while the share for the entire EU population is 30.1%. The employment rate of mobile EU citizens is also higher than that of the entire population: 76.1%, compared with the total EU employment rate of 72.1%. These findings come from a publication issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
In this study, the sustainability of social security policies in EU countries was analyzed by panel data method with multiple structural breaks under cross-sectional dependence for the 1990-2013 periods. The existence of cointegration was tested by Basher and Westerlund (2009) method and series were found to be cointegrated. Cointegration coefficients were estimated by AMG method and it was determined that social security policies are sustainable in a weak form in these countries; when the social security systems' expenditure is increased by 1%, revenues are increased by 0.86% and revenues of the system cannot compensate the expenses. Austria has the highest rate of sustainability of the social security system while Ireland and Finland have the lowest rates.
This working paper is based on the analysis of 28 national replies to a questionnaire addressing the implementation of the provisions on social assistance and economically inactive EU citizens in the context of Directive 2004/38 over the time frame 2014-2016.1 It presents main findings and is concerned with how the EU28 are implementing the provisions on social assistance and economically inactive EU citizens and what issues are relevant for the effective exercise of EU citizenship rights in this specific area of law. This monitoring effort is part of the 2015-2018 work programme of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence implemented by the Centre for Migration Law (Radboud University Nijmegen). The questionnaire was sent out to 28 national experts and focused on 3 main themes: social rights, family reunification and permanent residence. The other two themes are addressed in separate working papers (available here https://www.ru.nl/law/cmr/research/working-papers/overview/).
Labour mobility within the European Union continues to be a limited phenomenon. This concerns both long-term intra-EU mobility and more temporary forms of mobility such as posting of workers, i.e. workers posted to another member state in the framework of cross-border service provision. Yet, despite the limited nature of posting, this topic is far from being absent from the public and political debates. Several factors contribute to this. Firstly, a surge in the number of posted workers has been noticed over the recent years and increased attention has therefore been paid to this issue. Quite a few economic sectors, including construction, manufacturing, and social work, are very concerned by this trend. Secondly, several types of abuses have been recorded such as letter-box companies, bogus self-employment and exploitation of the posted workers' vulnerable situation. Thirdly, questions have been raised as to whether the balance struck by the EU legislator in 1996 (when adopting the Posted Workers Directive) between the freedom to provide crossborder services and the workers' social rights is still valid today. These elements highlight the need for a policy adjustment in order to preserve the legitimacy of the citizens' and workers' freedom to move and, to a certain extent, of the social dimension of the European project. In this context, the European Commission published a proposal to revise the 1996 Directive in order to strike a better balance between economic and social rights. But is this proposal sufficient to ensure a level playing field between economic actors and equal treatment between workers? How will this proposal affect the implementation of other EU initiatives aiming to tackle fraud and abuse? What else is needed to address the tensions between the Single Market principles and the EU's social objectives? This discussion paper, published in the context of the Dutch Presidency and the ongoing negotiations of a revised Directive on posted workers, focuses on these questions while proposing some concrete solutions for a fairer policy framework.
The founding treaties, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and secondary EU law all provide for EU citizens' freedom to move and reside freely in any EU country of their choice. Growing numbers of citizens, and their family members, are making use of this freedom and related rights, such as the right not to be discriminated against based on nationality and the right to vote in certain elections in the host Member State. But making these rights a reality remains a challenge. This report presents an EU-wide, comparative overview of the application of the Free Movement Directive (2004/38/EC) across the 28 Member States based on a review of select case law at national level.
This working paper provides the formal output from the first workpackage of the TRANSWEL research project (of a total of five workpackages). It presents the main results from 7 months of research work, which ran from February-September 2015. TRANSWEL is a transnational comparative study of regimes of social security portability in the European Union. The transnational element of the study has two aspects: the project investigates portability of social security in 'the European Union' (or 'at EU level'), and between 4 transnational pairs of countries: Austria-Hungary,Germany-Bulgaria, Sweden-Estonia and UK-Poland. It compares social security portability for economically active mobile citizens in four policy areas: unemployment, family benefits, health and pensions.
This working paper is based on the analysis of 28 national replies to a questionnaire addressing the implementation of the provisions on family reunification in the context of Directive 2004/38 over the time frame 2014-2016.1 It presents the main findings and is concerned with how the EU28 are implementing the provisions on family reunification and what issues are relevant for the effective exercise of EU citizenship rights in this specific area of law. This monitoring effort is part of the 2015-2018 work programme of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence implemented by the Centre for Migration Law (Radboud University Nijmegen). The questionnaire was sent out to 28 national experts and focused on 3 main themes: social rights, family reunification and permanent residence. The other two themes are addressed in separate working papers (available here https://www.ru.nl/law/cmr/research/working-papers/overview/)
Brexit negotiations are in full swing. A main point of contention involves the freedom of movement of EU citizens. To explore the legal basis and limitations of a key EU right, we interviewed Federico Fabbrini, Professor of European Law.
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