Brexit and citizenship: between the EU and the UK
This week the posts center on European Union law and the fundamental freedoms that the United Kingdom (and therefore, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar) will leave behind after Brexit. After introducing very briefly the four fundamental freedoms the posts focus on free movement of persons and European Union citizenship. Next week the posts will introduce free movement of persons, workers, and social advantages (including the highly controversial and usually misunderstood issue about benefits).
Four Fundamental Freedoms
Originally, the principal aim of European Economic Community (ECC) was to achieve a greater economic integration via the creation of common market involving abolition of obstacles or restrictions on free movements of goods, services, workers, and capital.
Nowadays, Art. 26(2) TFEU defines internal (common/single) market as area without frontiers in which there is free movement of goods, persons, services, and capital.
Note the subtle but important difference between the original four fundamental freedoms (which referred only to workers in the case of people) and the current text that refers to persons.
Free Movement of Persons
There is no mention of European citizenship in initial European Community Treaty. Originally the recognized free movement principle (of workers) was linked to narrow economic objective of attaining common market.
With time, workers, self-employed persons, providers and recipients of services were gradually conceived as something more than factors of production.
A-G. Trabucci in F v Belgium (7/75): “the migrant worker is not regarded by Community law as a mere source of labour but is viewed as a human being.”
The 90s see a change with regard to European Union citizenship. The Treaty of the European Union (Maastricht 1992) marked a move from European Economic Community to more politically-oriented European Union.
Art.3 TEU: the Union set itself objective to strengthen protection of rights and interests of nationals of the Member States through citizenship. Exercise of rights would help to forge identity with Union.
According to art.20 (1) TFEU: Citizenship of the Union is hereby established. Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union. Citizenship shall complement and not replace national citizenship.
NOTE: the European Union citizenship is to complement and not replace Member State nationality.
The post tomorrow will include references to European Union treaty law relevant to citizenship. Art.20 (2) TFEU established that citizens of the European Union enjoy certain rights and are subject to duties provided for in the treaties. This means that European Union citizens enjoy a series of political, civil and socio-economic rights. Some are set out in arts. 21-24 TFEU, others in secondary legislation to be adopted under art. 25 TFEU.
Thursday 14th February 2019
Jorge Emilio Núñez