EU countries must respect the right to free movement, say MEPs 

Press Releases 

Parliament strongly contests the position of some European leaders who are calling for changes and for restrictions to the freedom of movement of citizens, in a resolution adopted on Thursday Temporary restrictions to the free movement of workers from Bulgaria and Romania expired on 1 January 2014.

In a joint resolution tabled by the EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens/EFA and GUE/NGL groups, Parliament calls on the member states to comply with Treaty provisions on freedom of movement, a right guaranteed to all European citizens.

MEPs call on EU countries to refrain from any actions that could affect the right of free movement and reject any proposal to cap numbers of EU migrants as that is contrary to the Treaty principle of the free movement of people.

Parliament notes that with the approach of the European elections, the free movement of EU citizens has become a campaign issue for some political parties and there is a risk that this debate could lead to a rise in racism and xenophobia. It also points out that high-ranking European politicians have recently made several statements undermining the right to freedom of movement.

Labour mobility boosts EU economy

Recent Commission studies have shown that mobile workers are net contributors to the economies and budgets of the host countries, underlines the resolution.

Although only 2.8% of all EU citizens live in an EU country other than their own, they are nonetheless a key element in the success of the internal market and boost Europe's economy, say MEPs.

Tackling misuse of social welfare systems without discrimination

MEPs call on the member states not to discriminate against EU mobile workers, when wrongfully associating the right of free movement for work purposes with alleged abuse of social security systems.

They remind member states of their social responsibility to tackle misuse of their social welfare systems, regardless of whether it is committed by their own citizens or by citizens of other EU countries.