Why this Campaign

The EU Rights Clinic and ECAS are launching the Right to Move campaign, which consists in advocating for seven strategies to improve the free movement of persons in the EU.

The free movement of persons is one of the cornerstones of the EU’s Single Market and is a right deeply cherished by citizens in Europe today.

This campaign is a response to the recent and unprecedented calls made by several governments for imposing further restrictions on the free movement of people based on unsubstantiated claims about the impact of the EU rules.

In order to counter these accusations, we believe that it is important to seize the initiative and propose measures aimed at ensuring that the free movement rules can work better for all EU citizens.

We are therefore launching the Right to Move campaign based on seven strategies to improve the free movement of persons in the EU:

Strategy 1 – Directive 2004-38 should be recast into a Regulation

This would reduce divergence in administrative formalities in the EU and further facilitate the exercise of the right of free movement by EU citizens and their family members.

Strategy 2 – The Commission’s powers of investigation should be strengthened

The Commission needs to have a full range of measures at its disposal to investigate and enforce the free movement rules more efficiently and fulfil its mission as Guardian of the EU Treaties.

Strategy 3 – Civil society organisations should be empowered to help citizens overcome obstacles

Empowering civil society groups to inform and assist mobile citizens will ensure that these citizens can make effective use of those rights and overcome obstacles that may come their way.

Strategy 4 -Member states should collate better statistics on the free movement of persons

The collection of data on the free movement of EU citizens and their family members would encourage better evidence-based policy-making by the Member States as well as the EU.

Strategy 5 -Member states should deepen their collaboration on the free movement of persons

Member States can only develop appropriate and effective responses to challenges generated by the free movement of persons through cooperation guided by independent expertise.

Strategy 6 –  Judgments of the EU Court of Justice prior to 2004 should be translated into all languages

Citizens and their advisers need to be able to rely on the relevant judgments of the EU Court of Justice in all EU official languages irrespective of when the judgment may have been issued.

Strategy 7 – A pro free movement counterfactual should be developed to refute anti-migrant rhetoric

Politicians who believe in the benefits of European integration must learn to present the benefits of free movement using similar tactics and terminology deployed by populist politicians.

The details of each of our seven strategies will be revealed on this website every Wednesday over the course of the next seven weeks.

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