Rights of EU citizens
The Treaty on the functioning of the European Union gives EU citizens the right to
- non-discrimination on the basis of nationality
- move and reside freely within the EU
- vote for and stand as a candidate in European Parliament and municipal elections
- consular protection (help from the embassy or consulate of any other EU country to EU citizens in distress in a country outside the EU where they have no embassy or consulate of their own country)
- petition the European Parliament and complain to the European ombudsman
- contact and receive a response from any EU institution in one of the EU's official languages
- access European Parliament, European Commission and Council documents under certain conditions
All EU citizens have equal access to the EU Civil Service.
With the Lisbon Treaty, a new form of public participation is available to European citizens: the citizens' initiative, which allows one million citizens - nationals of a significant number of EU countries - to call directly on the European Commission to bring forward an initiative of interest to them.
EU citizenship reports
EU citizenship and the rights it confers lie at the heart of the EU. Since 1993, the European Commission reports every 3 years on progress towards effective EU citizenship and new priorities for the years ahead in the area of EU citizenship rights.
Press release on the EU Citizenship Report 2017
Standard Eurobarometers are carried out twice yearly. Among other things, these examine people's attitudes on EU citizenship and on issues linked to the priorities of the European Commission, notably free movement.
Autumn 2016 –Standard Eurobarometer report on EU citizenship (EB 86)
2 specific Eurobarometer surveys were carried out throughout EU countries in view of the 2017 EU citizenship report:
European citizenship (2016)
Electoral rights (2016)
Special Eurobarometer survey on democracy and elections was issued in 2018 as a contribution to the annual Colloquium on fundamental rights.
What the Commission has done
Group of Member State Experts on Investor Citizenship and Residence Schemes
The Commission undertook in the 2019 Report on Investor Citizenship and Residence Schemes in the EU (details below) to set up and support a group of experts from the Member States to:
- look at the specific risks arising from investor citizenship schemes;
- develop a common set of security checks, including risk management processes that take into account security, money-laundering, tax evasion and corruption risks, by the end of 2019; and
- address the aspects of transparency and good governance with regard to the implementation of both investor citizenship and residence schemes.
The meetings of this group will take place on 5 April 2019, 8 July 2019 and 2 October 2019. You can find the agendas for the meetings, as they become available, and further information on the activities of the group here.
Report on Investor Citizenship and Residence Schemes in the European Union
On 23 January 2019, the Commission adopted a report on Investor Citizenship and Residence Schemes in the European Union:
The Commission’s Report on Investor Citizenship and Residence Schemes is based largely on a detailed fact-finding study commissioned by the Commission, consisting of four parts:
- A - Overview of ordinary, discretionary and discretionary facilitated naturalisation procedures in all Member States
- B.I - Detailed research on Investors' schemes granting citizenship in all MS where these exist - link to document to be included
- B.II - Detailed research on Investors' schemes granting residence in all MS where these exist
- C - country summary reports, providing a quick overview and analysis of factual findings per Member State
- D - analytical overview report
- Your Europe - information for EU citizens and their families
- Your rights - resources to help citizens and businesses defend their rights
- DG Employment, social affairs and inclusion - information on social security
- Factsheets, questions and answers - Factsheets in the event of “no deal” withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union