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Author: ECAS European Citizen Action Service

EU Rights Clinic Calls For Rights of Family Members and Carers of EU Citizens to be Safeguarded Post-Brexit

Today, as part of the EU Rights Clinic, ECAS has submitted letters to the European Commission’s Taskforce on Article 50 and the European Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group to express concerns about the protections granted to the rights of EU citizens and their family members and carers living in the UK following the recent agreement reached by the UK and EU to conclude phase 1 of negotiations. The EU Rights Clinic seeks urgent confirmation from the European Commission and European Parliament that the status of the following categories of EU Citizens and family members who currently enjoy rights of residence under EU law: family members of EU citizens who have returned home after having resided in another Member State as recognised by the Court of Justice’s ruling in Case C-370/90 Surinder Singh and subsequent cases; primary carers of the children in education of migrant workers or former migrant workers under Regulation 492/2011 on the free movement of workers as recognised by the Court of Justice’s rulings in Case C-480/08 Texeira and Joined Cases C‑147/11 Teixeira and subsequent cases; primary carers of Union citizens having a right of residence in the EU citizens’ home country arising from the Court of Justice’s ruling in Case C-34/09 Ruiz Zambrano and subsequent cases. The EU Rights Clinic also seeks assurances over the interpretation of “lawful residence” under EU law and that inactive EU citizens will not...

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EU Citizens’ Rights and EU Citizenship Loss under the Brexit Divorce Deal

On Friday 8 December, negotiators for the UK and EU released a joint report on stage one of the Brexit negotiations, detailing, among other things, the post-Brexit prospects for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU. Friday’s terms go several steps further than a UK government paper issued last June on the post-Brexit status of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU. In a previous post on the Citizen Brexit Observatory we called the offer in the UK government paper a “consolation prize”. How much more “consolation” does Friday’s report provide? This post addresses this question from three perspectives: the legal value of the ‘deal’ entailed in the report; good news for the affected EU and UK citizens; and, overall losses in terms of EU citizenship rights and content. Friday’s divorce deal and its value British newspapers emphatically referred, on Friday, to the achievement of an historic ‘divorce deal’ between the UK and the EU. The joint report of the Brexit negotiators certainly proposes a deal. However, to what extent the eventual divorce will reflect the agreement reached in principle on Friday and whether its current terms will remain written in history is yet to be seen. Friday’s document is more political than legal. On the part of the EU, it accompanies the European Commission’s recommendation to the European Council that...

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EU and UK Finally Reach Agreement on Citizens’ Post-Brexit Rights

After months of protracted and painful negotiations, there is finally a deal in the Brexit negotiations on citizens’ rights. The rights of EU citizens in the UK – and UK citizens in the EU – to live, work and study will remain the same, and they will retain the right to family reunification, healthcare and social security. Under the deal, the rights of EU citizens in the UK will be protected by UK law, rather than the European Court of Justice (ECJ), but the case law of ECJ will remain relevant in UK courts for a further 8-year period following the cut-off date (fixed at the date of the UK’s withdrawal). In addition, the UK Government will bring forward the Withdrawal Agreement & Implementation Bill, specifically to implement the agreement, which will fully incorporate the citizens’ rights part of the agreement into UK law. No discrimination The deal is clear on the need to avoid discrimination, which has been a cause of great difficulty for EU citizens in the UK since the Brexit vote. The EU’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, emphasised that there must be “no discrimination based on nationality”, which represents a key principle of the agreement alongside reciprocity and a fixed cut-off date. Furthermore, the EU’s Social Security Regulations (883/2004 and 987/2009) will continue to apply as well as the Regulation on Healthcare (883/2004) and certain articles of...

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Brexit and Loss of EU Citizenship: Cases, Options, Perceptions

Following the UK’s Brexit referendum on 23 June 2016 and the vote to leave the EU, the rights and status of UK nationals living in the EU27 and EU nationals has been the subject of much debate. Yet, whilst the right to reside has been much discussed, the legal consequences of Brexit for EU Citizenship demands further attention. This study, produced by the University of Sheffield School of Law and ECAS within the framework of the Citizen Brexit observatory, focuses on three groups of current European citizens who are most at risk of a loss or ‘downgrading’ of citizenship rights following Brexit: UK nationals currently residing in another Member State; EU nationals currently residing in the UK; and, UK nationals living in the UK. The position of UK nationals resident in the EU and EU nationals residing in the UK is explicitly addressed by the Brexit negotiations, but the third group, the position of ‘static’ UK nationals – those who are living in the UK – is a secondary issue that will only be addressed during the second stage of negotiations. This group faces a loss of political rights, such as the right to participate in local and EU elections and to participate in a European Citizens’ Initiative, but will also lose the choice of whether to become mobile. UK nationals under the age of 18, who were unable to vote in the referendum...

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November News Flash – Digital Democracy, Sweden Complaint, Commission Work Programme

This month, our newsletter covers our latest activities and work, including our third annual Digital Democracy Day in Brussels and our new study on EU online Public Consultations for the EESC, the final report of our workshop on fake news and media literacy, as well as the complaint submitted by the EU Rights Clinic to the EC against Sweden for breaching free movement rules and our latest study on Brexit and the European Arrest Warrant. In addition, you will find updates on the Commission’s 2018 Work Programme and the recent rulings and developments in EU rights, including two ECJ opinions and one ruling affecting the E 101 social security certificate for posted workers, the jurisdictional consumer privilege and the derived right of residence of non-EU national family members of EU citizens. Access the newsletter here The post November News Flash – Digital Democracy, Sweden Complaint, Commission Work Programme appeared first on...

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EU Rights in the Spotlight – November 2017

The EU Rights in the Spotlight section for this month features two ECJ opinions and one ruling affecting the E 101 social security certificate for posted workers, the jurisdictional consumer privilege and the derived right of residence of non-EU national family members of EU citizens. According to Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe, a national court may, in the event of fraud, disapply the social security certificate of posted workers in the European Union. On November 9 2017, Advocate General Saugmandsgaard Øe proposed in an opinion that the E 101 certificate should not be considered binding on a court of the host Member State where that court finds that the certificate was obtained or invoked fraudulently. The question was referred to the ECJ by the Hof van Cassatie (Court of Cassation, Belgium) for a preliminary ruling in order to ascertain whether a court of the host Member State can annul or disregard an E 101 certificate obtained “fraudulently by means of a representation of the facts that did not reflect the reality of the situation, thereby seeking to circumvent the conditions to which Community legislation makes subject the posting of workers and thus to obtain an advantage which would not have been granted without that fraudulent arrangement.” The Advocate General observed in his opinion that EU law cannot be relied on for abusive or fraudulent ends and that considering a certificate obtained or...

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EU Public Consultations in the Digital Age: Enhancing the Role of the EESC and Civil Society Organisations

EU online public consultations are used as a tool to foster transparency at EU level and offer an opportunity to both civil society and European citizens to participate in the EU decision-making process. They are generally run by the European Commission, which tries to legitimate its actions and reduce the democratic deficit by taking into account the opinions of stakeholders and citizens. This process is facilitated by the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which allows stakeholders and citizens to directly express their opinions on specific topics and engage in an interactive dialogue. As a consequence of the potential for new technologies to enable more direct participation and foster citizens’ civic engagement at EU level without the intervention of intermediary or representative organisations, civil society organisations are called upon to rethink their traditional role as mediators between citizens and EU institutions. In the case of EU online public consultations, however, they can still play a crucial role in improving the consultation processes. For the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), ECAS has produced a study analysing the purpose of consultations and the current consultation practices at EU level, and the potential for the EESC and civil society organisations (CSOs) to improve EU consultations as a tool for participatory democracy. The study makes a series of recommendations about how CSOs and the EESC can improve EU online consultations, including:...

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Brexit & the European Arrest Warrant: How Will Change Affect the Interests of Citizens?

The UK’s decision to leave the EU on 23 June 2016 and the triggering of Article 50 TEU to start the process on 29 March 2017 were decisive moments in British and European history, with great consequences for the relationship and coordination between the two across many policy areas. The ‘Area of Freedom, Security and Justice’, which forms the backbone of policies regarding immigration, police cooperation and anti-terrorism in the EU, is unlikely to be exempt from this upheaval. As a component of this, the UK’s continued participation in the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), a key instrument of cooperation among EU Member States in the enforcement of justice and prosecution of crime on a cross-border basis, is uncertain and has implications for the rights of citizens. This study, produced by the University of Sheffield School of Law and ECAS within the framework of the Citizen Brexit Observatory, aims to highlight the interests of citizens in this area and canvas possible policy options post-Brexit to provide information and guidance for individuals, bodies and organisations working with those citizens who may find themselves affected by such changes. In particular, the study focuses on two aspects of the functioning of the EAW that may have significant consequences for citizens. The first point concentrates on the surrender procedure of accused or convicted persons and specifically provides an assessment of implications for the pre-trial detention...

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