EU states not applying free movement rules

EU member states’ implementation of rules on free movement and residence  has been “rather disappointing,” the European Commission said on Wednesday (10 December).

Directive 2004/38 provides a single legal instrument on free movement of EU citizens and their family members.

A new EC report reveals persistent violation of the core rights of EU citizens, mostly related to:

  • the right of entry and residence of third country family members (problems with entry visas or when crossing the border, conditions attached to the right of residence not foreseen in the Directive and delayed issue of residence cards),
  • the requirement for EU citizens to submit with the applications for residence additional documents not foreseen in the Directive.

Vice-president Jacques Barrot, Commissioner in charge for Justice, Freedom and Security, stated:

Not one single Member State has transposed the Directive effectively and correctly in its entirety. Not one Article of the Directive has been transposed effectively and correctly by all Member States.

The Vice President’s announcement came as the Commission adopted the report on the application of Directive 2004/38/. The report concludes that the overall transposition of the Directive is rather disappointing, and outlines the steps the Commission will take to ensure that Member States improve their laws and administrative practices so that EU citizens’ rights are not impaired.


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