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Your EU rights

EU Citizenship is not an empty concept but a concrete status to which a number of rights are attached.

EU Citizenship Rights

The EU would like you to know about these rights that you have as an EU Citizen and to be able to fully enjoy them in your daily life. The EU Citizenship Report contributes to this endeavor.  EU citizens' rights are spelled out in Part Two of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. They are also enshrined in Chapter V of Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.

The right to move and reside freely within the EU and not to be discriminated against on grounds of your nationality

As an EU citizen, you have the right to move and reside freely within the EU. Some conditions apply. For example, when entering another EU country you may be asked to show identification, and to live in another EU country for more than three months, you must meet certain conditions depending on whether you are working, studying, etc.

The right to vote and stand as a candidate in elections

When living in another EU country, you have the right, as an EU citizen, to vote and stand as candidate in municipal and European elections held in that country, under the same conditions as nationals.

The right to petition

The right to petition allows you to raise concerns or complaints with the European Parliament. You can ask the Parliament to address either a personal need or grievance, or a matter of public interest. The subject must fall within the EU’s sphere of activity, and must concern you directly.

The right to complain to the Ombudsman

For grievances concerning ‘mal-administration’ by an EU institution or body, you can complain to the Ombudsman.
You can also contact EU institutions and advisory bodies directly, and you are entitled to receive a reply in any of the EU’s 23 official languages.

The right to consular protection for unrepresented EU citizens

When in a non-EU country and in need of help, as an EU citizen you are entitled to consular protection from the embassy or consulate of any other EU country under the same conditions as nationals of that country. Assistance may be provided in situations including death, accident or illness, arrest or detention, violent crime and repatriation.

The right to ask the Commission to propose new legislation

The European Citizens’ Initiative allows you to ask the European Commission to prepare a proposal for a legal act. The petition must be signed by at least 1 million citizens from at least one quarter of EU countries.

Fundamental rights

The EU is based on the values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

Other cross-border rights

Accessing social security

When moving within the EU, you only pay social security contributions in one country at a time, even if you are working in more than one. Generally, you will also receive social security benefits exclusively from this country.

Getting healthcare abroad

Under EU law, you can seek medical treatment in another EU country and may be entitled to have the costs reimbursed by your national health insurer.

Studying abroad

As an EU national, you have the right to study in any EU country under the same conditions as nationals of that country.

Online shopping

You are protected by EU law when shopping online in Europe.

Passenger rights

If you have problems with international rail travel or flights departing from the EU or arriving in the EU with an EU carrier from a non-EU country, you may be entitled to a refund and possibly also compensation.

Cheaper mobile phone calls

When you use your mobile phone in another EU country, there is a limit on what your operator can charge you.

Safe, secure and affordable energies

As a consumer, you are now better protected and have the right to choose the best gas and electricity deal for you, thanks to the EU.

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For questions related to the Year, contact

The team of the Year 2014

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