EU citizens, with the exception of citizens from Ireland and the United Kingdom, have the right to enter and travel around any other Member State without having to comply with any special formalities. All that may be required is a valid passport or identity card.
Why are Irish and UK citizens required to present a passport when entering other Member States?
As neither Ireland nor the United Kingdom are parties to the Schengen Agreement, Irish and UK citizens must present a passport when entering other Member States.
Can a citizen of the European Union be restricted in his/her right to travel?
The right to travel to another Member State may be restricted only for reasons of public policy, public security or public health.
What can I do if my right to travel to another Member State or to a third country is restricted at the point of entry?
If you are an Irish citizen and your right to travel to another Member State or to a third country is restricted and you require advice or assistance, you should contact the Irish embassy or consulate in that country. If Ireland is not represented by an embassy or consulate, you have the right to seek assistance from the embassy or consulate of any of the twenty-six other Member States present in the country to which you seek entry. If you experience any difficulties in locating diplomatic or consular representation, you should contact the Department of Foreign Affairs. The telephone number is 01 4082308.
If you are a citizen of another country, you should contact the Embassy or Consulate of your home State in the country you seek to enter.
Is it necessary for a non-EU family member to obtain an EEA Family Permit to enter the UK when travelling with or to join their EU family member there?
From 6th April 2015, you will not require an EEA Family Permit to enter the UK if you as a non-EU family member can present your residence card issued under EU law permitting you to reside with your EU family member in the Member State where you currently reside. This is provided by the Immigration (European Economic Area)(Amendment) Regulation 2015, SI No 694. These Regulations were introduced in the UK pursuant to the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU in the McCarthy case, C-202/13.
Will a driving licence issued in one Member State be recognised in other Member States?
A valid driving licence issued by one Member State will be valid throughout the European Union for the class or classes of vehicles for which it was issued in the Member State of origin.
Can I be banned from driving in one or more Member States for having committed a road traffic offence there even though my driving licence has been issued by a different Member State?
Yes. If, for example, you reside in the Republic of Ireland and hold an Irish driving licence, you can be banned from driving in Northern Ireland if you are convicted of a driving offence there. This was decided by the Court of Justice of the EU in the case of Sevda Aykul v Land Baden Wurtemberg, C-260/13.
Is it necessary to obtain additional car insurance when travelling to another Member State?
Your car insurance policy will automatically provide, at no extra cost, the minimum cover (third party liability) required by law. This applies in all Member States as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.
If you have comprehensive insurance at home, you should check that the cover extends to travelling in other countries. You may also have to consider vehicle breakdown insurance.
What if I become ill or have an accident in another EU Member State? How do I obtain healthcare?
Before travelling you should obtain a European Health Insurance Card which is available from your local social security or sickness insurance office. If you suddenly become ill or have an accident during a visit to any EU member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you can get free or reduced cost medical treatment on production of your European Health Insurance Card.
Will the European Health Insurance Card entitle me to all necessary medical care free of charge in another Member State?
Only publicly funded emergency treatment is included in the scheme. Since each country sets its own rules for medical care, necessary medical care is free in some countries. In other countries, you will be required to pay part of the cost while in others you will be required to pay the full cost and then claim a refund.
Where can I obtain the European Health Insurance Card?
The European Health Insurance Card is available free of charge to most Irish residents. An application form may be obtained from your local health centre or post office. Alternatively, you can download the form from the following website www.ehic.ie which also provides detailed information concerning use of the card.
Is it necessary to obtain travel insurance?
Since few countries pay the entire cost of medical treatment on production of the European Health Insurance Card, it is advisable to obtain travel insurance. It is important to remember that illness or an accident abroad may necessitate additional travel, accommodation and repatriation costs for which you will require insurance.
What are the current rules regarding liquids on flights?
Only containers of 100mls or less of liquids, gels, pastes, lotions and cosmetics may be brought through the passenger screening points at all European Union airports. In addition, these items must be presented at the passenger security screening point in a transparent, re-sealable bag of no more than one litre capacity i.e. 20cmx20cm.
The rules apply to liquids such as water and other beverages, aerosol cans and toiletries such as toothpaste, shaving cream, hair gel, lip gloss and creams.
There are two exceptions to the rules: baby food needed during the flight and medicines needed during the flight. These exempt items must be placed in a separate transparent re-sealable bag and presented separately at the passenger security screening area.
Where can I obtain further information on the rules concerning liquids on flights?
Further information on the rules concerning liquids on flights can be obtained here.
When travelling by air, do the airlines have any obligation to compensate me in the event of flight delay or cancellation?
When travelling by air for business or pleasure, EU law provides that you have certain rights regarding information, delays, cancellations, overbooking and damage to your luggage. Many of the rules apply even if there are extraordinary circumstances which caused the flight disruption. The rights apply to scheduled domestic flights within the EU and to charter flights leaving or arriving at an EU airport. For flights arriving from outside the EU, these rights apply only to EU airlines. Further information on your rights as an airline passenger can be obtained here.
When travelling by rail in Ireland, do I have any rights granted under EU law?
Irish domestic rail travel is largely exempt from EC Regulation 1371/2007 which provides for protection for rail passengers, however, passengers on domestic rail services in Ireland now benefit from measures requiring rail operators to:
- make it easy for rail passengers to buy tickets (Article 9 )
- compensate passengers where the operator is liable for the loss of luggage (Article 11)
- have adequate insurance (Article 12)
- ensure non-discriminatory access for persons with disabilities or reduced mobility relating to rail transport including stations, ticket reservations and ticket purchases, and at no additional cost to the passenger (Article 19)
- provide information on the accessibility of rail services to persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility (Article 20(1))
- ensure passengers’ personal security in railway stations and on trains (Article 26)
- compensate passengers in the event of death or injury (Article 13).
On the Dublin to Belfast service, in addition to the rights afforded to passengers on domestic services under the Regulation, passengers on this rail service also benefit from measures requiring:
- railway operators and ticket agents to provide passengers with travel information (Article 8 )
- railway operators to make advance payments to cover immediate costs of death or injury associated with use of the rail service (Article 13)