What does it mean to be a European Citizen?
o Living and Working in Europe
o A sense of Belonging
This session covers what it means to be an EU citizen, how you can travel and work and what it means have a sense of belonging.
Lesson time foreseen
80 minutes = 2 lessons
Citizenship of the European Union is enshrined in the EU Treaty: ‘Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union. Citizenship of the Union shall be additional to and not replace national citizenship’ (Article 20(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). But what does EU citizenship mean in practice?
EU and Schengen area make travelling much easier.
If you are an EU national, you do not need to show your national ID card or passport when you are travelling from one border-free Schengen EU country to another.
If you are an EU national but you have family members who are not, they can accompany or join you in another EU country.
Your non-EU spouse, (grand)children or (grand)parents do not need to get a visa from the country they are travelling to if:
• They have a residence permit or visa from another country in the border-free Schengen area (see list below) and the country they are travelling to belongs to that area.
• They have an EU family member's residence card issued under EU rules by any EU country (except the country you are a national of), and they are travelling together with you or travelling to join you in another EU country. The residence card should clearly state that the holder is a family member of an EU national.
Your registered partner and extended family - siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and so on - can ask the authorities in an EU country to officially recognise them as family members of an EU national. EU countries do not have to recognise them as your family members but they do at least have to consider the request.
If your non-EU family members need an entry visa, they should apply for one in advance from the consulate or embassy of the country they wish to travel to. If they will be travelling together with you, or joining you in another EU country, their application should be processed quickly and free of charge:
• Countries which are members of the border-free Schengen area should issue visas within 15 days, except in rare cases, when the authorities should provide an explanation of their decision.
• All other countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, UK) should issues visas as quickly as possible.
Arriving at the border without an entry visa
It is always best for your non-EU family members to be well informed in advance and have all the necessary documents before starting their journey.
However, if they arrive at the border without an entry visa, the border authorities should give them the opportunity to prove by other means that they are your family members. If they manage to prove it, they should be issued with an entry visa on the spot.
If you are a non-EU national wishing to visit or travel within the EU, you will need a passport:
• valid for at least 3 months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are visiting,
• which was issued within the previous 10 years,
and possibly a visa. Apply for a visa from the consulate or embassy of the country you are visiting. If your visa is from a "Schengen area" country, it automatically allows you to travel to the other Schengen countries as well. If you have a valid residence permit from one of those Schengen countries, it is equivalent to a visa. You may need a national visa to visit non-Schengen countries.
When travelling to or from a non-Schengen country you must show a valid ID or passport. Before travelling, check what documents you must have to travel outside your home country and to enter the non-Schengen country you plan to visit.
• If your licence was issued in an EU country, you can use it anywhere in the EU.
• Before you travel abroad, make sure your driving licence is still valid. If your driving licence expires during a trip abroad, it automatically becomes invalid and may not be recognised in other countries.
• Be aware that you cannot drive in another country on a provisional driving licence or certificate.
• If you have exchanged your non‑EU licence for an EU licence in the country where you now live, you can drive with it throughout the EU.
• If you want to drive in the EU on a licence issued in a country outside the EU, contact the authorities of the country you are visiting, or your embassy or consulate in that country.
The sense of belonging
The idea of a ‘citizens’ Europe’ is very new. Some symbols of a shared European identity already exist, such as the European passport, in use since 1985. The EU has a motto, ‘United in diversity’, and 9 May is celebrated as ‘Europe Day’.
Free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the Treaty enshrined in Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and developed by EU secondary legislation and the Case law of the Court of Justice. EU citizens are entitled to:
• look for a job in another EU country
• work there without needing a work permit
• reside there for that purpose
• stay there even after employment has finished
• enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages
EU nationals may also have certain types of health & social security coverage transferred to the country in which they go to seek work (see coordination of social security systems).
• Jobseekers, i.e. EU nationals who move to another EU country to look for a job, under certain conditions
• EU nationals working in another EU country
• EU nationals who return to their country of origin after having worked abroad.
• Family members of the above.
Rights may differ somewhat for people who plan to be self-employed, students, and retired or otherwise economically non-active people.
Nationals of these countries, who are working legally in the European Union, are entitled to the same working conditions as the nationals of their host country:
• Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia
• Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro;
• Andorra, San Marino
• 79 countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.
For nationals of other countries – that have no agreement with the EU – the right to work in an EU country mainly depends on the laws of that country, unless they are members of an EU national's family.
However, EU rules do cover the following areas for workers from all non‑EU countries:
• non-EU nationals who are long-term residents in the EU
• the right to family reunification
• admission for non-EU researchers
• admission for students, exchange pupils, unpaid training or voluntary service
• the rights of highly-skilled workers from outside the EU (EU blue card scheme).
New EU rules have been proposed on:
• simplified entry procedures and rights for all non-EU migrant workers
• conditions of entry and residence of seasonal workers from non-EU countries
• conditions of entry and residence of non-EU nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer.
Check driver’s licence validity: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/driving-abroad/driving-licence-and-insurance/index_en.htm