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REFIT Platform Calls for New Communication on Citizenship Directive

18 December 2017

The European Commission’s Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) platform has called on the Commission to adopt a new Communication clarifying certain grey areas in Directive 2004/38/EC on residence rights in order to improve and harmonise the implementation of the Citizenship Directive at national level.

On 23 November 2017, Members of the REFIT Platform adopted an opinion recommending the Commission issue a new Communication on Directive 2004/38/EC, which governs the free movement of persons within the EU, with the purpose of overcoming the existing loopholes in the Directive, providing up-to-date guidelines to Member States on its implementation, as well as reflecting the recent and not codified ECJ judgments on free movement rights.

The opinion is the result of the submission by Assya Kavrakova, member of the Refit Platform Stakeholder Group and ECAS’ Executive Director, who identified, in the framework of our Act for Free Movement project and on the basis of the enquiries received in the last three years by Your Europe Advice, certain grey areas in the Citizenship Directive that require further clarification in order to allow EU mobile citizens to fully enjoy and exercise their free movement rights.

In particular, the main challenges faced by EU mobile citizens and recognised by the Members of the REFIT platform concern the satisfaction of the “comprehensive sickness insurance” condition, the concept of “sufficient resource”, residence rights of EU citizens and their third-country family members, the application of the Surinder Singh rules, as well as the treatment of dual nationals and dependent non-EU children.

The opinion was supported by the majority of the REFIT Government Group, who agreed that a new Communication on the Citizenship Directive “would be beneficial to citizens, public administration and SOLVIT centres, provided it is based on and limited to the rulings of the Court of Justice”.

The Commission will now respond to the opinion and report on its progress in the ‘Refit Scoreboard’.