Brussels, 2 July 2009
Free movement and residence rights of EU citizens and their families: the Commission gives guidance for better transposition and application of Directive 2004/38/EC for the benefit of Member States and EU citizens
The Commission adopted today guidelines for better transposition and application of Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of EU citizens and their families to move and reside freely. The guidelines clarify the rights of EU citizens and their family members and offer assistance to Member States on the measures they can take to tackle criminality, abuse and marriages of convenience.
Vice-president Jacques Barrot, Commissioner in charge for Justice, Freedom and Security, stated "The freedom to live and work abroad is one of the cornerstones of the European Union. It works to the benefit of EU citizens, EU countries and the competitiveness of our economies. Eight million EU citizens have moved to live in another Member State. Today, we offer information to EU citizens and assistance to the Member States by issuing guidelines to ensure better transposition and application of the Directive."
All Member States have adopted national laws transposing Directive 2004/38 on the right of EU citizens and their families to move and reside freely within the EU. In December 2008, the Commission adopted a report on the application of the Directive. The report concluded that the overall transposition of the Directive was rather disappointing.
The Commission is committed to ensuring that EU citizens and their family members enjoy effectively their right to free movement. In order to do this, the Commission has announced that it will provide more information to the citizens and that it will work in partnership with the Member States to ensure the full application of the Directive .
The adoption of the guidelines today is the first tangible outcome of the work that the Commission is carrying out with the Member States to this end. The guidelines are intended to offer information and assistance to both Member States and EU citizens on the issues identified as problematic in transposition or application, such as the definition of sufficient resources, dependency, public policy and public security and abuse. The Commission will continue to work at technical level with the experts of the Member States to collect information and exchange best practice.
The Commission is also working on an updated version of the simplified guide for the citizen and on a Wikipedia article on the rights of citizens.
The Commission will continue to remain vigilant on the application of the Free Movement Directive on the ground, and will make full use of the powers conferred on it by the Treaty to ensure that EU citizens can effectively enjoy their rights.