[JURIST] Vice President of the European Commission Responsible for Justice, Freedom, and Security Jacques Barrot [official website] on Wednesday reported [press release] that European Union (EU) [official website] governments are violating people's right to travel freely among the EU member states. Directive 2004/38/EC [materials] gives nationals of EU member states the right to move and reside freely among any of the states. According to the report, no member states have fully implemented the directive. The two biggest problems are the right of entry and residence of third country family members and the requirement of submitting additional documents for residence not foreseen in the directive. Barrot said:
Free movement of persons constitutes one of the fundamental freedoms of the internal market, to the benefit of EU citizens, of the Member States and of the competitiveness of European economy. Flaws in the implementation of EU law in this field might result in a breach of the principles laying at the very core basis of the European construction. This is why the Commission will step up its efforts to ensure that EU citizens and their families effectively and fully enjoy their rights under the Directive. The Commission will use fully its powers under the Treaty to achieve this result, launching infringement proceedings when necessary, providing guidance to the Member States and ensuring that EU citizens are informed of their rights.Barrot added that the responsibility lies ultimately with the member states.
The free movement of people among EU member states is described as a fundamental right [EU materials], but not all members are satisfied with the current rules. Ireland has requested to amend [Irish Times report] the part of the directive giving non-EU spouses the right to live in Ireland, but this was rejected Thursday. Other states including Denmark and Italy have also taken issue with the directive.