Joint civil society statement - Calling for protection of the rights of destitute mobile EU citizens
Civil society organisations join efforts to denounce the destitution many mobile EU citizens face, and to advocate for solutions now
In 2022, the European Commission is preparing a new Communication regarding Directive 2004/38 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the EU. The goal of this new guidance is to clarify certain aspects of how the Directive should be interpreted and transposed by member states. This occasion represents a key moment to address instances of misinterpretation of the EU legislation at national level. Together, the signing organisations urge the European Commission to use this opportunity to consider the experiences of destitution which many mobile EU citizens are confronted with across the EU. The new Communication should address the causes of destitution among mobile EU citizens, to ensure that no one is left behind in the context of free movement, one of the most treasured European values.
Many factors may lead to destitution among EU citizens when moving to another country, such as having a precarious or undeclared job, experiencing health issues, suffering domestic violence or being under exploitation or human trafficking. These circumstances may be related to the barriers in the labour market for migrants, in general, and the lack of safety networks after their arrival. However, some factors are related to identified gaps in the Directive 2004/38 (governing EU free movement) and/or the national legislations transposing it.
To ensure that the Commission will uphold its commitment to tackling inequality in the EU, we put forward the following recommendations for the consideration of European Union policy makers when formulating the new guidelines on free movement.
Arrels Fundació, Spain
BAG W - Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Wohnungslosenhilfe e.V., Germany
Collectif National Droits de l’Homme - Romeurope, France
De Tussenvoorziening, Netherlands
ECAS - European Citizen Action Service, Europe
European Roma Rights Centre, Europe
FEANTSA - European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless, Europe
Fundación Secretariado Gitano, Spain
Hope Housing, United Kingdom
Infirmiers de rue asbl - Straatverplegers vzw, Belgium
Kompasset Kirkens Korshær, Denmark
Läkare i Världen (Doctors of the World), Sweden
Maruf Foundation, Netherlands/Europe
PICUM - Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants, Europe
Projekt Udenfor, Denmark
Stichting LOS, Netherlands
Vailla vakinaista asuntoa ry – No Fixed Abode, Finland
 European Commission (2020) EU Citizenship report 2020.