Response to European Commission Questionnaire 'Consultation on Citizens’ Rights – The Way Forward'

11 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2011 Last revised: 9 May 2011

See all articles by Anthony Valcke

Anthony Valcke

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

Date Written: June 14, 2010


In April 2010 the European Commission embarked upon a public consultation in order to identify concrete actions to tackle the challenges and obstacles faced by citizens when exercising their rights as citizens of the European Union. The issues under consultation included residence right and the free movement of persons, diplomatic and consular protection, electoral rights, free movement of civil status documents and consumers' rights. This response identifies (1) restrictions placed by Member States on EU citizens living in non-EU territories, (2) gaps in Directive 2004/38 on residence rights, (3) significant variance in implementation of the Directive across the EU, (4) discrimination in access to healthcare, (5) the effect of the Directive on access to educational assistance to students, (6) inconsistencies in the Directive as far as access to social assistance is concerned, (7) problems in implementation of the Directive in the UK, (8) initiatives to enhance mutual recognition of civil status document, (9) measures to enhance resolution of consumer disputes, (10) the need to prohibit discrimination based on residence as regards goods and services, (11) the need to abolish restrictions on overseas voting, (12) the desirability of extending voting in national and parliamentary elections to permanent residents, (13) the possibility of electing dedicated MEPs to represent non-national EU citizens, and (14) enhancing the training of consular and diplomatic staff of Member States' missions.

Keywords: European Union, citizenship of the Union, free movement, single market

JEL Classification: K19, K29, K39, K49

Suggested Citation

Valcke, Anthony, Response to European Commission Questionnaire 'Consultation on Citizens’ Rights – The Way Forward' (June 14, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

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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