Free Movement of Persons in the EU: A Loved and Feared Reality

Event informations

Date: 12/04/2017 / 09:00 – 14:30
Venue: Press Club Brussels Europe – 95, rue Froissart – 1040 Brussels

More info…

Event description

“Free Movement of Persons in the EU: A Loved and Feared Reality”

12 April, 2017 | 9.00 – 14.30
Press Club Brussels Europe
Rue Froissart 95 – 1000 Brussels

 Background information

The concept of the free movement of persons was first established in the Treaty of Rome 60 years ago. The first provisions on the subject, in the 1957 Treaty, related to the free movement of workers and freedom of establishment. Since then, the concept has evolved to become the cornerstone of Union citizenship, introduced by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992, which underpins the right of EU citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.

60 years later, the reality of freedom of movement on the ground is more complicated than ever. In the context of multiple challenges – financial and economic crises, the refugee influx, terrorist threats and centrifugal political tendencies in the EU exemplified by Brexit – the pressure to limit the rights of EU mobile citizens has increased. There has been a trend in recent years towards ever-increasing and diverse obstacles to free movement, which EU citizens encounter when exercising their rights in other Member States. Free movement of citizens no longer appears to be universally recognised by governments across the EU as non-contentious, and its acquired status has been challenged. At the same time, it is still the right most cherished by EU citizens. 81% of Europeans are in favour of the “free movement of EU citizens who can live, work, study and do business anywhere in the EU”, according to the autumn 2016 Standard Eurobarometer.

The conference “Free Movement of Persons in the EU: A Loved and Feared Reality” aims to:

– Identify the current challenges to the fundamental right of free movement, and
– Explore viable strategies and actions for restoring the trust in, and the recognition of, this most notable achievement of the European project for citizens


9.00 – 9.30 Welcome Coffee and Registration

9.30 – 10.00 Keynote address – Jill Evans, MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance

10.00 – 11.30 Freedom of Movement Challenges Today


Antoine Fobe, Legal Expert, Your Europe Advice Dr Anthony Valcke, the EU Rights Clinic

Claire Genta, European Parliament Committee on Petitions
Niccolo Milanese, European Alternatives
Marie Denninghaus, Mobility and Transport Officer, European Disability Forum

11.30 – 11.45  Coffee Break
11.45 – 13.15  The Way forward: Visions, Strategies, Solutions


Laurence de Richemont, Head of Unit, DG Internal Market, Industry Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission
Michal Meduna, Policy Officer, Union Citizenship Rights and Free Movement, DG JUST (tbc)
Jordi Curell, Director, Labour Mobility, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Luca Jahier, President Group III (Various Interests’ Group), European Economic and Social Committee Laszlo Andor, Economist, former Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

13.15 – 13.30 – Concluding remarks:
Jean Lambert, MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance 13.30 – 14.30 Networking lunch