This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 320294

EU

EUROPEAN POLICY BRIEF: REINFORCING ECONOMIC RIGHTS OF EU CITIZENS

Written by
Sybe de Vries, Elena Ioriatti, Paolo Guarda, Elisabetta Pulice, and Flavio Guella
March 2017

Drawing on the research conducted during the project, this policy brief advances several key ideas as regards the reinforcement of economic rights of European Union citizens. As the cornerstone of the European Union’s Single Market, the four freedoms constitute a principal driving force behind the European economic integration process. Through the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the economic principles and commitments for the Member States enshrined in the Treaty provisions on free movement have been transformed into substantive economic rights for European Union citizens. A particularly broad interpretation of the Treaty rules on free movement of goods, persons, services, and capital set in motion a process of constitutionalization of the economic freedoms. Now, with the legally binding European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights containing several economic rights – such as the freedom to choose an occupation and the right to engage in work (Article 15), the freedom to conduct a business (Article 16), the right to property (Article 17), the right to non-discrimination (Article 21), and the freedom of movement and residence (Article 45) – the fundamental character of the four freedoms has been reinforced. It can after all be argued that the four freedoms are more specific elaborations of these Charter rights. Accordingly, within the area of the Single Market citizens have gained, at least in theory, far-reaching rights to develop themselves and to challenge various kinds of measures and practices that hinder them in doing so. However, notwithstanding these legal developments, legal and factual barriers to the exercise of European Union economic rights continue to exist.
This policy brief aims to show which potential scenarios can be envisaged to relieve and perhaps ultimately eliminate persistent barriers to the exercise of economic rights. At the same time, proposals are made for how economic rights for EU citizens can be further enhanced.

 

Download the policy brief here: POLICY BRIEF – WP5 De Vries & Ioriatti

EUROPEAN POLICY BRIEF: LIMITED SOCIAL RIGHTS AND THE CASE FOR A EUROPEAN MINIMUM INCOME SCHEME

LIMITED SOCIAL RIGHTS AND THE CASE FOR A EUROPEAN MINIMUM INCOME SCHEME
Policy scenarios and recommendations from bEUcitizen, a research project on the barriers to realise and exercise citizenship rights by European Union citizens

Written by
Martin Seeleib-Kaiser

 
This policy brief examines the current status of social rights in the European Union and makes the case for a European Minimum Income Scheme. Since the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty (1992), European Union citizenship has formally become a reality and citizens of European Union member states are no longer only citizens of the respective member states, but also ‘multinational citizens’ of the European Union.1 According to Dahrendorf, “[c]itizenship is … an idea that finds its expression in law … Citizenship creates a Rechtsgemeinschaft, a community under law…”. Substantive social rights have in turn been characterised as crucial for the ability of all citizens, irrespective of class, to participate more fully in the Rechtsgemeinschaft and to enjoy their political and civil rights. In this view, social rights are a precondition to full citizenship, or the “the final stone in the arch which holds up the roof of citizenship”.

Social rights are typically realised and conceptualised within the context of nation states. Therefore, it is also not surprising that the concept of social rights does not have a uniform meaning across European Union member states. Moreover, definitions of social rights and social citizenship vary with the institutional design of social policy systems at the nation-state level, which may be built on the principle of universalism, on promoting social stability, or mitigating poverty and lead to very different outcomes. Within the European Union, we are witnesses of very large differences in the level of inequality and poverty among member states, which is not related to the level of economic development, but largely a consequence of political choice.

Click HEREto download the policy brief