Consequences cannot refuse to grant someone the right

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1. Free mobility:

Freedom of movement for workers is already largely a reality. The right was enshrined in the Treaties and comprehensively implemented by a Council Regulation in 1968, assuring all EU Nationals of equal treatment in terms of employment, wages and other working conditions throughout the EU. Individuals are guaranteed geographical and occupational mobility and a minimum level of social integration in any member state where they choose to work.

2. Geographical mobility:

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Geographical mobility is a person’s right to go and stay in another member state in order to seek employment or take up and pursue an occupation. Originally, only workers and those seeking work enjoyed a guaranteed right of residence under the EU law.

But, several Directives were adopted in 1990, extending this right to students, pensioners and non- employed people provided that they had sufficient means to support themselves and adequate health insurance cover.

National immigration authorities cannot refuse to grant someone the right of residence guaranteed under the EU law (in particular, on grounds of public policy, security or health) except in very serious cases, and any such refusal can be challenged before a Court of Justice.

3. Occupational mobility:

Occupational mobility covers people’s right to pursue whatever occupation they wish and their terms of employment and working conditions. Here again, nationals of other member states may not be treated differently from local workers. For instance, they are entitled to equal pay, occupational reintegration, access to training or re-training centres and re­employment in the event of redundancy.

4. Social integration:

Social integration refers to a worker’s right to all the general welfare benefits available in the host country. In other words, workers from other member states, are entitled to the same rights and privileges as local people in terms of accommodation (including Council housing), for example, Trade Union activities or social security.

Lastly, the EU rules on social security guarantee employees and the self- employed as well as their families, not only family allowances but also adequate coverage in the event of illness, disability, occupational accident or disease, unemployment, death of a close relative, and old age.

The essential point is to ensure that no one loses social security entitlements or is penalised, simply because they exercise their right to move freely within the EU.

5. Freedom of establishment:

Broadly speaking, freedom of establishment concerns people’s right to take up and pursue independent occupations. Therefore, it covers doctors, lawyers, architects, estate agents, brokers, advertising agencies and the like, as well as technical, artistic and craft activities.

It also expressly covers the establishment and running of businesses, in particular companies and company agencies, branches or subsidiaries. On the other hand, it does not cover activities connected with the permanent or occasional exercise of public authority. The member states are free to decide for themselves which occupations are to be entrusted with such authority.

6. Freedom to provide services:

The freedom to provide Services covers the same activities as the freedom of establishment, but in the case of Services, the activities are limited in time and must in some way involve crossing an internal EU frontier. As with the right of establishment, activities connected with the exercise of public authority are excluded.

There are three different cases where a cross-frontier element may be involved:

i. The provider of a service may temporarily go to the recipient, crossing the border himself to perform the service in another member state. This is the typical case which the freedom to provide Services is intended to cover.

It represents a necessary corollary to the right of establishment, which is designed to help those wishing to establish themselves in another member state and integrate permanently into the working life there.

ii. Going beyond that, the Court of Justice has also recognised that the freedom extends to the case where the recipient goes to the country of the provider to obtain the service. Thus, the Court has held in particular, that tourists and people undergoing medical treatment, must also be regarded as recipients of Services, as must those travelling for the purposes of education or business.

iii. The rules on freedom to provide Services also apply where the service provider and recipient remain in their own countries and only the service crosses the border. A typical case of this kind is radio and television broadcasting.

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