Parliamentary questions
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7 January 2014
Question for oral answer O-000003/2014
to the Commission
Rule 115
Jacek Protasiewicz, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Andrey Kovatchev, Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, Elena Băsescu, Csaba Őry, András Gyürk, Danuta Jazłowiecka, Traian Ungureanu, Iosif Matula, Anna Záborská, Zuzana Roithová, Manfred Weber, Elena Oana Antonescu, on behalf of the PPE Group

 Subject: Freedom of movement in the EU

Freedom of movement is one of the most appreciated achievements of the EU. Its strength lies in the Member States’ commitment to fulfil their obligations and respect the fundamental rights of the Union. The four freedoms of movement – labour, capital, services and goods – are guaranteed by the Treaties, as they lead to the completion of the Single Market. These liberties cannot be separated or assessed individually. Combined, they form the foundation of the European project. There is a debate in certain Member States with respect to the possibility of restricting the fundamental right of free movement for Romanian and Bulgarian workers. Furthermore, restrictions for Polish workers in the United Kingdom concerning access to the welfare system have recently been announced. The Member States that expressed criticism over the freedom of movement of workers and publicly raised the issue of maintaining or imposing restrictions on the citizens of other Member States have failed to provide any data in support of their position.

The completion of the European Single Market through respect for the fundamental right of free movement comes with rights and obligations, a fact which is supported by European Court of Justice rulings on the matter. It has been proven that with the cost of intra-EU mobility come major benefits for the economies of the host Member States.

In light of the above, could the Commission answer the following:

1. What measures are in place to prevent Member States from breaching the fundamental rights of EU citizens through discriminatory actions concerning access to labour markets or welfare systems?

2. How does the Commission view the continuation of deepening EU integration at a time when respect for and recognition of membership rights are under threat?

3. Would renegotiation of the rules on free movement regarding welfare benefits be possible without a renegotiation of the rules on other freedoms?

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