Five Years of the Citizens Directive in the UK - Part 1

Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law, Vol. 25, Issue 3, pp. 217-244

28 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2011 Last revised: 27 Jan 2012

See all articles by Anthony Valcke

Anthony Valcke

University of Kent, Brussels; Vesalius College; European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)

Date Written: July 10, 2011


This two-part article reviews how the UK authorities have fared in the practical application of Directive 2004/38/EC in the five years since it entered into force. It identifies and examines the most common problems faced by EU citizens when seeking to have their rights recognised by the UK authorities applying the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 by reference to questions and complaints received by Your Europe Advice. In examining the experience of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK, account is taken of a number of recent judgments of the European Court of Justice concerning EU citizenship, including Metock, Lassal, Eman & Sevinger and Ruiz Zambrano.

Part 1 covers the scope and beneficiaries of the Directive, the conditions placed on the right of residence, the circumstances under which such a right may be retained and ends with a discussion of the right of permanent residence. Part 2 will examine problems relating to residence formalities and obstacles encountered in exercising the right to equal treatment. It then looks at the circumstances where the right of residence may be lost, followed by a discussion of appeal rights. It concludes by providing recommendations for the amendment of both the Directive and the EEA Regulations.

Keywords: European Union, Union citizenship, free movement of persons, freedom of establishment, freedom to provide services, immigration, United Kingdom, Gibraltar, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Directive 2004/38/EC, Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, UKBA

JEL Classification: K19, K31, K33, K39, K40

Suggested Citation

Valcke, Anthony, Five Years of the Citizens Directive in the UK - Part 1 (July 10, 2011). Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law, Vol. 25, Issue 3, pp. 217-244. Available at SSRN:

Anthony Valcke (Contact Author)

University of Kent, Brussels ( email )

Espace Rolin, Boulevard Louis Schmidt 2A
Brussels 1040


Vesalius College ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
Brussels, B-1050


European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) ( email )

Avenue de la Toison d'Or, 77
Brussels, B-1060


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