Free movement of persons is one of the main achievements of the European integration process. It encompasses four fundamental freedoms under EU law: free movement of persons, goods, services and capitals. Over the last 40 years, the principle of free movement within the EU has been in constant development. According to the case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU, freedom of movement is meant to be favoured and encouraged as much as possible.
Free movement is now at the top of the agenda of the European Union. Mobility within the EU provides a means of enriching human capital. In times of crisis, with high unemployment rates, it could also help alleviate specific labour shortages and mismatches due to structural market changes. There are almost 13 million EU citizens currently living in another Member State for more than one year. In July 2011, a special Eurobarometer survey found out that the right to work and live freely is the right EU citizens value the most.
Mobility should be enhanced by removing the barriers citizens and businesses still face when they decide to exercise their rights to move to another Member State. A number of initiatives at EU level have strengthened the legal framework and provide political support to the application of the relevant legislation. Experts at Milieu have focused their studies on these issues or have previously worked in the European institutions contributing to shape these policies. Milieu has already provided services to the European Commission and the European Parliament in this area:
- checking the correct transposition of EU law in all Member States,
- assessing the implementation of EU rules to understand their added value for citizens and business across Europe;
- analysing the practical obstacles and administrative burdens imposed on citizens and business;
- gathering quantitative data to analyse the scale of the problems;
- proposing actions at EU and national level to counter them.
The work of Milieu will contribute to the development of the future initiatives by providing key information on various aspects of free movement. With this input, the Commission will be able to take informed decisions and better shape its future initiatives
Key projects in the area of Free Movement include:
Network of experts on intra-EU mobility- free movement of workers and social security coordination, DG Employment, 2015-2017: Intra-EU mobility can raise the overall EU GDP if it improves labour allocation, through a better match of workers’ skills and job vacancies, which would boost overall productivity. Nonetheless, a number of media throughout Europe reported criticism to citizens’ right to free movement. More info...
Evaluation of EU rules on free movement of EU citizens and their family members and their practical implementation, DG Justice, 2013-14: To evaluate the impact of EU law on the free movement of EU citizens in Member States, the Commission requested factual information and data on the practical implementation of the legal framework of all Member States concerning: More info...