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Parliamentary questions
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27 August 2018
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003187/2018

Pursuant to Directive 2004/38/EC, Member States may restrict the freedom of movement of EU citizens on grounds of public policy or public security, provided they respect the material and procedural safeguards set out in Chapter VI of the directive.

In principle, Member States retain the freedom to determine the requirements of public policy and public security in accordance with their national needs, which can vary from one Member State to another and from one era to another(1). However, this discretion is not unlimited. In particular, derogations from the fundamental principle of free movement of persons must be interpreted strictly.

Measures taken on grounds of public policy or public security must comply with the principle of proportionality and must be based exclusively on the personal conduct of the individual concerned, which must represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society.

National authorities have to notify in writing the restrictive decision, which must provide, precisely and in full, the grounds on which it had been taken, unless this is contrary to the interests of State security. Judicial and, where appropriate, administrative redress procedures to appeal against or seek review of the decision have to be available.

In line with its role as the guardian of the treaties, the Commission is continously monitoring Member States’ compliance with EC law on free movement of persons.

(1)E.g. Judgment of 22 May 2012, P.I. v Oberbürgermeisterin der Stadt Remscheid, C-348/09, EU:C:2012:300, paragraph 23 and case-law cited.

Last updated: 27 August 2018Legal notice