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Parliamentary questions
28 April 2014
Answer given by Mr Andor on behalf of the Commission

On 25 November 2013, the Commission presented its communication ‘Free movement of EU citizens and their families: Five actions to make a difference’(1). This communication aims to clarify the free movement rights and obligations of EU citizens. It also explains the safeguards which exist under EC law to fight possible abuse and fraud and to avoid unreasonable burdens for the social assistance systems of host Member States.

The communication also presents data that show that most EU citizens move to another Member State to work and they help the host country's economy to function better because they help to tackle skills shortages and labour market bottlenecks. Moreover, mobile EU citizens tend to be net contributors to the host country’s welfare system, because they are more likely to be in employment than nationals of the host countries and less likely to claim social benefits.

The Commission recognises that there can be local problems created by a large, sudden influx of people from other EU countries into a particular geographical area. For example, they can put a strain on education, housing and infrastructure. It therefore stands ready to engage with Member States and to help municipal authorities and others use the European Social Fund to its full extent. From 1 January 2014, at least 20% of ESF funds should be spent on promoting social inclusion and combating poverty in each Member State.

(1)COM(2013) 837 final.

OJ C 324, 18/09/2014
Last updated: 29 April 2014Legal notice