European Union law and the four fundamental freedoms
In order to understand better the case of Northern Ireland we introduced last week basic elements in relation to the European Union. We presented the relationship between national law and international law, and in particular European Union law as a frame of reference for all Member States (including the United Kingdom and, consequently, Northern Ireland).
This week the posts will centre on European Union law and the fundamental freedoms that the United Kingdom (and therefore, Northern Ireland) will leave behind after Brexit.
After introducing very briefly the four fundamental freedoms the posts this week will be centre 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 PersonsCitizenship
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: 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.
NOTE: This post is based on Jorge Emilio Núñez, Territorial Disputes and State Sovereignty. International Law and Politics (Routledge 2020).
Previous published research monograph about territorial disputes and sovereignty by the author, Jorge Emilio Núñez, Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2017.
NEXT POST: European Union Treaty Law and EU citizenship
Monday 04th May 2020
Dr Jorge Emilio Núñez