Free Movement of Persons

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Free Movement of Persons

Free movement of persons (visas, asylum, immigration and other policies) and the Treaties of the European Union

Description of Free movement of persons (visas, asylum, immigration and other policies) provided by the European Union Commission: The Treaty of Amsterdam, in force since 1 May 1999, wrote a new Title IV into the EC Treaty. It covers the following fields:

• free movement of persons;

• controls on external borders;

• asylum, immigration and safeguarding the rights of third-country nationals;

• judicial cooperation in civil matters.

These fields used to come under Title VI of the EU Treaty (Justice and home affairs), but now the Treaty of Amsterdam has “communitised” them, in other words, brought them under the legal framework of the first pillar. Following a five-year transition period after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam:

• the Commission has sole right of initiative;

• the Council will be able to decide unanimously, after consulting the European Parliament, on the application of qualified-majority voting and the codecision procedure;

• however, the transition to qualified-majority voting and to the codecision procedure is automatic (without a unanimous vote by the Council) for the issuing of visas and the rules concerning the uniform visa.

The Treaty of Nice has extended the scope of this automatic transition from unanimous to qualified-majority voting. First, qualified-majority voting applies from the entry into force of the Treaty of Nice in the fields of asylum and refugees (on condition that Community legislation has been adopted) and of judicial cooperation in civil matters with a cross-border dimension, except for aspects involving family law. Second, qualified-majority voting has applied since 1 May 2004 to measures concerning the free movement of nationals of non-member countries on the territory of the Member States for a maximum period of three months, illegal immigration, and administrative cooperation on the free movement of persons. The European Constitution currently being ratified provides for policies on border controls, visas, asylum and immigration to become common policies. It establishes the principles to be followed in each of them:

• regarding borders and visas, it confirms the abolition of border checks within the European Union and calls for the integrated management of borders; simplification of rules governing short-stay visas and residence permits; respect for the powers of the Member States regarding the geographical delimitation of their borders in accordance with international law;

• regarding asylum, it incorporates the concept of a common European asylum system, used in the conclusion of the Tampere European Council (1999) but not in the Amsterdam or Nice Treaties. The codecision procedure should apply, except for measures to be taken in the event of a massive influx of third-country nationals;

• regarding immigration, the Constitution provides for a common policy to ensure the efficient management of migratory flows, the fair treatment of third-country nationals, preventing and combating illegal immigration and trafficking in people.

Free Movement of Persons and Europe

There is an entry on free movement of persons in the European legal encyclopedia.

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Further Reading

  • Entry “Free Movement of Persons” in the work “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

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Popular Treaties Topics

  • Treaties of the United Nations (UN)
  • Types of Treaties
  • International Treaties
  • Famous Treaties
  • Law of Treaties
  • Numbered Treaties

Free movement of persons (visas, asylum, immigration and other policies) and the Treaties of the European Union

Description of Free movement of persons (visas, asylum, immigration and other policies) provided by the European Union Commission: The Treaty of Amsterdam, in force since 1 May 1999, wrote a new Title IV into the EC Treaty. It covers the following fields:

• free movement of persons;

• controls on external borders;

• asylum, immigration and safeguarding the rights of third-country nationals;

• judicial cooperation in civil matters.

These fields used to come under Title VI of the EU Treaty (Justice and home affairs), but now the Treaty of Amsterdam has “communitised” them, in other words, brought them under the legal framework of the first pillar. Following a five-year transition period after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam:

• the Commission has sole right of initiative;

• the Council will be able to decide unanimously, after consulting the European Parliament, on the application of qualified-majority voting and the codecision procedure;

• however, the transition to qualified-majority voting and to the codecision procedure is automatic (without a unanimous vote by the Council) for the issuing of visas and the rules concerning the uniform visa.

The Treaty of Nice has extended the scope of this automatic transition from unanimous to qualified-majority voting. First, qualified-majority voting applies from the entry into force of the Treaty of Nice in the fields of asylum and refugees (on condition that Community legislation has been adopted) and of judicial cooperation in civil matters with a cross-border dimension, except for aspects involving family law. Second, qualified-majority voting has applied since 1 May 2004 to measures concerning the free movement of nationals of non-member countries on the territory of the Member States for a maximum period of three months, illegal immigration, and administrative cooperation on the free movement of persons. The European Constitution currently being ratified provides for policies on border controls, visas, asylum and immigration to become common policies. It establishes the principles to be followed in each of them:

• regarding borders and visas, it confirms the abolition of border checks within the European Union and calls for the integrated management of borders; simplification of rules governing short-stay visas and residence permits; respect for the powers of the Member States regarding the geographical delimitation of their borders in accordance with international law;

• regarding asylum, it incorporates the concept of a common European asylum system, used in the conclusion of the Tampere European Council (1999) but not in the Amsterdam or Nice Treaties. The codecision procedure should apply, except for measures to be taken in the event of a massive influx of third-country nationals;

• regarding immigration, the Constitution provides for a common policy to ensure the efficient management of migratory flows, the fair treatment of third-country nationals, preventing and combating illegal immigration and trafficking in people.

Resources

See Also

Popular Treaties Topics

  • Treaties of the United Nations (UN)
  • Types of Treaties
  • International Treaties
  • Famous Treaties
  • Law of Treaties
  • Numbered Treaties

Hierarchical Display of Free movement of persons

Law > International law > Public international law
Law > Rights and freedoms > Rights of the individual > Freedom of movement
European Union > European construction > Deepening of the European Union > Single market
European Union > European construction > Deepening of the European Union > Citizens’ Europe
Social Questions > Migration > Migration > Geographical mobility
Employment And Working Conditions > Employment > Employment policy > EU employment policy > Freedom to provide services
Employment And Working Conditions > Employment > Employment policy > EU employment policy > Free movement of workers
European Union > European construction > European Union > Area of freedom, security and justice > Judicial cooperation in civil matters in the EU
European Union > European construction > European Union > Area of freedom, security and justice
Social Questions > Migration > Migration > Migration policy > EU migration policy

Free movement of persons

Concept of Free movement of persons

See the dictionary definition of Free movement of persons.

Characteristics of Free movement of persons

Resources

Translation of Free movement of persons

Thesaurus of Free movement of persons

Law > International law > Public international law > Free movement of persons
Law > Rights and freedoms > Rights of the individual > Freedom of movement > Free movement of persons
European Union > European construction > Deepening of the European Union > Single market > Free movement of persons
European Union > European construction > Deepening of the European Union > Citizens’ Europe > Free movement of persons
Social Questions > Migration > Migration > Geographical mobility > Free movement of persons
Employment And Working Conditions > Employment > Employment policy > EU employment policy > Freedom to provide services > Free movement of persons
Employment And Working Conditions > Employment > Employment policy > EU employment policy > Free movement of workers > Free movement of persons
European Union > European construction > European Union > Area of freedom, security and justice > Judicial cooperation in civil matters in the EU > Free movement of persons
European Union > European construction > European Union > Area of freedom, security and justice > Free movement of persons
Social Questions > Migration > Migration > Migration policy > EU migration policy > Free movement of persons

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