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Essential Principles of Citizen’s Rights – EU Position Paper

Following on from last Monday’s EU Council Press release, 22nd May 2017, which announced the formal authorisation of the opening of negotiations with the UK and the adoption of the Commission’s negotiating directives (see blog post  1st June), the Commission released two significant position papers  on 24th May.

These were drafted by the European Commission, Task Force for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50 TEU and outlined the proposed Essential Principles on Citizens’ Rights and Financial Settlement and were presented for discussion at the Council Working Party on 30th May and 1st June respectively.

The position papers give a clear indication of the proposed EU Commission’s standpoint on both of these subjects to be presented to the UK when negotiations under Article 50 begin.

Perhaps it is indicative of the importance the Commission place on the future rights of EEA Citizens in the UK and UK citizens living in other EEA countries that this is given priority in the discussions relating to the adoption of a joint EU27 approach.

The Essential Principles on Citizens’ Right if adopted should give some comfort to EEA nationals currently living in the UK, many of whom have expressed worries and feelings of uncertainty about their and their children’s future stability.

This document gives 3 pages of detail of what the Commission wants as its underlying basics on the subject of citizens’ rights and begins with an overall objective statement:

“The Withdrawal Agreement should protect the rights of EU27 citizens, UK nationals and their family members who, at the date of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement, have enjoyed rights relating to free movement under Union law, as well as rights which are in the process of being obtained and the rights the enjoyment of which will intervene at a later date [for example pension rights].”

The position paper makes it clear that enforcement and dispute settlements should remain firmly within the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

It is an interesting document and well worth reading in full here:

For those interested in the financial settlement issues please find that document here:

Decisions of the two Council Working Parties to follow, watch this space.



HJT Training will stay abreast of all developments to keep you informed as and when they occur. SEE HERE for all updates 


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