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Free movement of persons (visas, asylum, immigration and other policies)

Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community (EC Treaty) set out the European Union's policy on "visas, asylum, immigration and other policies related to free movement of persons". These areas of action were linked to the progressive institution of an area of freedom, security and justice and covered the following:

  • free movement of persons;
  • external border controls;
  • asylum, immigration and safeguarding of the rights of third-country nationals;
  • judicial cooperation in civil matters.

Following a five-year transition period after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam (May 1999), the Commission had sole right of initiative and the codecision procedure applied.

Before being incorporated into the EC Treaty by the Treaty of Amsterdam, these fields used to fall under Title VI of the Treaty on European Union (third pillar). The Treaty of Amsterdam "communitised" them, bringing them within the legal framework of the first pillar. The Treaty of Lisbon has grouped them together in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

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