Strengthening Free Movement within the European Union

Resolution submitted by: JEF Political Commission 2 – Internal European Policy

In a situation where border controls have increasingly been reintroduced, JEF Europe urges the European Union and Member States to do everything in their power to put a halt to this and instead strengthen free movement in Europe.

JEF Europe, 

A. Acknowledging the inability of the current Dublin system to meet the demands of crisis situations and reiterating other JEF resolutions and statements on this issue like the Joint Declaration by JEF France, Italy and Malta supporting its calls for a European approach to the migrant crisis,

B. Reiterating that the free movement of EU workers is a fundamental principle of European law enshrined in Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and developed by EU secondary legislation, such as Regulation (EU) No 492/2011 which requires equal treatment in regard to social advantages, and the Case law of the Court of Justice,

C. Considering that free movement within the European Union has become an increasingly contested issue encompassing discussions on “welfare tourism” and on the refugee crisis that have been widely covered in the media as well as in the public debate,

D. Deploring that European citizens living in another Member State are still very much in a situation where not everyone living within the Union enjoys equal rights and that their rights vary largely according to their respective national citizenship, given that social rights are tightly coupled with the latter,

E. Recognising citizens’ lack of information regarding their rights in the labour market/workplace, 

JEF Europe, therefore,

1. Demands the full re-establishment of the freedom to travel within the Schengen area as soon as possible. Border controls can and may only be temporary. Member States must use this time to immediately implement a coherent common border policy that gives Frontex the role of a European border- and Coast guard and with the financial capacities to achieve its mandate. 

2.  Demands European leaders to act according to their rhetorical responsibility and stick to a constructive and effective discourse,

3.  Demands that all physical walls, fences, and barriers of any sort established between EU Member States be torn down, noting the negative messages such obstructions send and the dark connotations of their historical predecessors; 

4.  Asks all EU institutions to support measures aimed at improving free movement and specifically to give the European Commission the appropriate tools to strictly control the suspensions of the Schengen Agreement made by Member States;

5.  Asks the Commission, the European Parliament as well as the Member States to clearly refute common misconceptions about the free movement by fully pointing out already existing possibilities within European law that allow for nuanced and appropriate approaches to cross-border migration,

6. Demands that citizens are informed about their rights by innovative means involving school education about cross-border voting rights and making access to such information easily available for mobile citizens,

7. Demands European leaders to protect and strengthen citizens’ social rights. Setting up a European Mobility Fund, similar to the European Social Fund, should be part of this effort to alleviate Member States’ burden that results from a high influx of mobile citizens,

8. Proposes minimum social security schemes on the European level including an unemployment insurance or a pension fund,

9. Clearly rejects and asks Member States to reject any plans to restrict mobile citizens’ social rights since they go against the aim of an equal standard of living in the EU and present a burden to free movement,

10. Asks to encourage citizens’ political participation through enabling them at a certain stage of their residence in another Member State to take part in national elections;

11. Proposes to provide a framework for public authorities responsible for voter registration to exchange information for effective organisation of elections, to prevent voters fraud and double voting, based on the highest European data protection standards;

12. Urges Member States to agree in a timely manner to implement the Leinen-Report on European electoral law reform, adopted on 11th November 2015 by the European Parliament, especially with regards to the introduction of European voting cards and procedures to avoid voting in more than one Member State.