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Upholding your rights - 08/05/2013

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New proposals would remove remaining obstacles to living, working and shopping anywhere in the EU.

Every day, people face obstacles when trying to exercise their rights as EU citizens.

The Commission is proposing new measures to tackle these, including:

  • extending the unemployment benefits jobseekers receive from their home country beyond the current 3 months while they look for work in another EU country
  • clarifying rules for trainees so they are not exploited through unpaid work
  • making it easier for countries to accept identity and residence documents from another EU country, along with roadworthiness certificates for cars
  • developing a common disability card allowing disabled people to receive the same benefits as nationals when in another EU country (for example, access to transport, tourism, culture and leisure)
  • strengthening legal rights for those suspected or accused of a crime – especially children and the vulnerable
  • improving EU rules for settling cross-border disputes over small purchases after buying online or in another EU country
  • providing an online means for shoppers to compare prices for digital products sold across the EU
  • making it easier for people to find out who can solve problems encountered in another EU country
  • enabling citizens to vote in national elections in their home countries, no matter where they live in the EU.

The proposals are inspired by feedback received through an online public consultation, ongoing citizens’ dialogues and the Europe Direct information service.

At the same time, the Commission also reports regularly on the state of fundamental rights and on gender equality in the EU

The proposals augment the measures already taken in 2010 to make citizenship rights more effective in practice. These actions are well underway.

What is European citizenship?

Every national of an EU country is also a citizen of the Union. In addition to national privileges, citizens hold an additional set of rights, guaranteed by the EU’s treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU .

EU citizenship gives people the right to live, work, travel and shop anywhere in the 27 member countries – as if they were in their own country.

More on your rights as an EU citizen

2013 – European year of citizens

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