Accompanying measures for the free movement of people

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This article concerns aspects of the European Union's political system that may have changed as a result of the Lisbon Treaty on December 1, 2009.

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The accompanying measures on the free movement of persons represent a policy of the European Community and deal with the migration of third-country nationals . In this respect, on the one hand, they form part of the free movement of persons by supplementing the free movement of persons , which only affects Union citizens themselves . On the other hand, together with the provisions on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters and judicial cooperation in civil matters , they serve the overarching concept of an area of ​​freedom, security and justice . The accompanying measures for free movement of persons include the granting of asylum , the reception of refugees , the visa policy and immigration from third countries.


The granting of access to one's own national territory to foreigners has traditionally been seen as the core of national sovereignty . This is why there have always been considerable reservations on the part of the member states against European integration in this area. For this reason, for a long time there was no provision for any kind of cooperation between the Member States in this area.

It soon became clear, however, that the opening of internal borders and the abolition of checks on persons as part of the internal market and the free movement of people were only possible if the Member States cooperated in the surveillance of external borders. Otherwise, third-country nationals would have chosen the Member State with the most liberal provisions for their entry or immigration, but from there they could then travel on to any other Member State of their choice.

This cooperation took place in the Schengen Agreement of 1985 and 1990. The Maastricht Treaty also gave the EU in its intergovernmental " third pillar ", cooperation in the field of justice and home affairs , powers for the harmonization of asylum, visa and immigration regulations to. The 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam transferred both areas to the supranational first pillar, i.e. the EC Treaty .

Due to Protocols No. 3 to 5 to the EU Treaty, the member states Great Britain , Ireland and Denmark only participate to a very limited extent in cooperation in the field of free movement of persons.


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According to Article 14, Paragraph 2 of the EC Treaty (EC Treaty), the free movement of people should be guaranteed in an “area without internal borders”. This expressly applies not only to Union citizens , but also to third-country nationals. Accordingly, Art. 62 No. 1 of the EC Treaty provides for the abolition of checks on persons at internal borders for both groups.

In the interests of an “area of ​​freedom, security and justice”, however, Title IV of the EC Treaty provides for a number of restrictive accompanying measures. They are:

  • Determination of standards and procedures which the member states have to comply with during controls at the EU external border, Art. 62 No. 2 lit. a EGV
  • Definition of common visa regulations (third countries requiring a visa, requirements for issuing visas, uniform visa design), Art. 62 No. 2 lit. b. EGV
  • Harmonization in asylum and refugee law (determination of the responsible member state; minimum standards for the recognition of third-country nationals as refugees or persons entitled to asylum and for their admission and protection in the member state; EU internal burden sharing), Art. 63 No. 1, 2 of the EC Treaty.
  • Harmonization in immigration law (entry and residence requirements for legal immigration; combating illegal immigration)

Actors and measures

Since the adoption of the regulations on the free movement of persons in the supranational first pillar of the EU, legislation in this area has been carried out in the institutional framework and in accordance with the provisions of the EC Treaty. According to Art. 61  ff., The Council issues “measures” in this regard; He is therefore not restricted to a specific form of action, but can choose freely between the legal acts mentioned in Art. 249 of the EC Treaty, in particular the Regulation and the Directive .

On visa issues, it decides today in accordance with Art. 67 Paragraphs 3 and 4 of the EC Treaty with a qualified majority either in the co-decision procedure in accordance with Article 251 of the EC Treaty or at least after hearing the Parliament. For the other items, the principle of unanimity initially applies in accordance with Art. 67 (2) EC Treaty; however, the Council has the option of submitting the matter to the co-decision procedure in future by unanimous decision.

In any case, the Commission has a right of initiative and the Parliament is involved to different degrees depending on the subject. The participation rights of both bodies are thus considerably more pronounced than in the third pillar, to which the free movement of persons previously belonged.

Finally, according to Article 64 (1) of the EC Treaty, the member states retain the right to adopt measures to maintain public order and to protect internal security. The Council can support them in this according to Article 64, Paragraph 2 of the EC Treaty.

Measures in the field of free movement of persons are in principle fully subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice . For the preliminary ruling procedure according to Art. 234 TEC, however, there is the special feature that, according to Art. 68 (1) TEC, only those national courts are entitled (and at the same time obliged to submit) whose decisions can no longer be appealed. According to Article 68 (3) of the EC Treaty, the Council, the Commission and the Member States can also obtain opinions from the ECJ on the interpretation of legal acts in the area of ​​the free movement of persons.


border controls

The abolition of the identity checks at the internal borders with simultaneous expansion of the controls at the Schengen external border has meanwhile taken place. The participating states form the Schengen area today . In the course of this, several exchange and further training programs for border guards have been launched, including a. SHERLOCK, ODYSSEUS and ARGO.


In the area of ​​the common visa policy , Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 (EU visa regulation) on third countries requiring a visa, Regulation (EC) No. 1683/95 on a uniform visa format and Regulation (EC) No. 810 have now been adopted / 2009 (Visa Code) issued.

At the EU summit in Tampere in 1999, it was decided to set up joint offices in third countries for issuing EU visas; the first such establishment was in Istanbul .

The Directive 2004/38 / EC (Free Movement Directive) also extended the right to visa-free entry on a visa requirement to be family members ( third country nationals ) of the EEA -Bürgern that their right to free movement perceive.

Asylum, refugee affairs

The asylum and refugee policy . Orders of Article 63 of the Treaty has been implemented, the Council only partially: the determination of the State responsible for examining applications for asylum State takes place today through to the elderly Dublin Convention anknüpfende Regulation 604/2013 ; The EURODAC fingerprint system was established to avoid multiple applications .

Civil war refugees from Bosnia

Directive 2003/9 establishes minimum standards for the admission of asylum seekers ; they relate u. a. on housing, food and clothing, on maintaining family unity, on medical care and access to education. After a year of residence, the asylum seeker should also be granted access to the labor market. Minimum standards for recognition as a refugee or person entitled to asylum are set out in Directive 2011/95 / EU (Qualification Directive) , formerly 2004/83 / EC.

To finance measures in the event of a mass influx of refugees, a European Refugee Fund with a volume of around EUR 200 million for the period from 2000 to 2004 was set up, continued in the periods 2005–2007, 2008–2010 and 2011–2013 and carried out from 2014 a comprehensive asylum, migration and integration fund replaced; For pilot projects in favor of refugees, there were less funds available from the EQUAL program of the European Social Fund, which ran until 2007 . An action plan from 1998 also provided for the creation of an “Asylum and Migration” task force and proposals to contain the flood of refugees from certain countries through humanitarian aid , also in cooperation with the UNHCR .

For more recent developments see also: Asylum Policy of the European Union


Minimum standards for the entry and residence conditions for legal immigrants have been set by several directives. RL 109/03 guarantees people who have resided legally in an EU state for at least five years, whose maintenance is secured and who have health insurance, equal treatment with nationals in terms of work, education, social benefits, etc. RL 86/03 regulates family reunification. A proposal for a directive by the Commission from 2001 deals with the right of entry for certain workers who are in need on the labor market.

The illegal immigration is combated, among other things, with RL 51/01, which provides for fines for transport companies involved in this. In its Decision No. 2004/573 / EC, the Council regulates the repatriation of illegally entered third-country nationals with joint flights.

See also


  • Sonja Buckel : "Welcome to Europe" - The Limits of European Migration Law. Legal disputes about the »State Project Europe«. Transcript, Bielefeld 2013.
  • Peter-Christian Müller-Graff / Friedemann Kainer: Asylum, immigration and visa policy. In: Werner Weidenfeld / Wolfgang Wessels (eds.): Europe from A to Z. Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-8329-1378-5 , p. 69ff.
  • Thomas Oppermann : European law. Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-53541-0 , p. 504ff

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Travel documents for family members from non-EU countries .
  2. Decision of the EEA Joint Committee No. 158/2007 of December 7, 2007 amending Annex V (Free movement of workers) and Annex VIII (Right of establishment) of the EEA Agreement .
  3. European Refugee Fund II: Financial Solidarity in the Service of the Common Asylum Policy. In: Press release IP / 04/203. February 13, 2004, accessed April 19, 2014 .
  4. Project funding from the EU funds. (No longer available online.) Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, March 25, 2014, archived from the original on March 18, 2014 ; Retrieved April 19, 2014 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. ^ Community initiative EQUAL. (No longer available online.) Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, archived from the original on January 23, 2013 ; Retrieved April 19, 2014 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /