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Key EU terms: F

22 February 2010
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 24 February 2010

A list of key EU legal terminology: F



An image archiving system to be established at national level to combat illegal immigration and organised crime, this database will facilitate the exchange of information between Member States on genuine and false documents.


Financial Action Task Force: created by the G7 industrialised nations to analyse the implications of money laundering for the international financial system.


A European Commission programme for reinforcing cooperation to combat organised crime.

False documents

Information on false documents used by people attempting to immigrate will be stored in an image archiving system called FADO to facilitate the work of law enforcement bodies.


Falsification of travel documents is being tackled at EU level through the creation of the FADO database and specialist training in detection.


Family life is given particular attention by the EU in its efforts toward closer cooperation between Member States in civil litigation; in particular, measures are directed at mutual recognition of decisions on family break-up and child protection.

Family members

Family members who are not EU nationals, but who are travelling with their EU national relation inside the EU are entitled to receive visas free of charge and without undue formalities.

Family reunification

The process by which family members of a third-country national who is a legal resident in a Member State of the EU can receive residency permits and obtain the right to work in that same Member State.

Feira European Council

The European Council in June 2000 in which Member States agreed priorities in relation to the external dimension (relations with countries and regions outside the EU) of justice and home affairs.


French acronym forfichier europen didentification des dossiers denqute, a criminal records database currently under discussion at the Council of Ministers. It will provide customs authorities with access to secure information during investigations.

Financial crime

Involves fraud and corruption, often organised across national borders. Mechanisms for increased cooperation between national law enforcement agencies are in place to combat this type of crime.


The Commission has launched a database called Eurodac to store fingerprints of asylum-seekers, in order to help Member States to determine whether a person has previously applied for asylum status in another Member State.


Small weapons such as pistols or rifles: EU initiatives in the control of firearms are designed to make national laws more effective by monitoring the movement of firearms in the EU and by developing cooperation between national administrations.

Forged documents

False imitations of legal travel documents. Images of such forged documents will be stored in a database named FADO to facilitate the work of customs and police organisations throughout the EU.


The fraudulent imitation of documents. Europol and the EU networks for police cooperation facilitate the exchange of information and cooperate to prevent and prosecute forgery.


The checks on people and goods crossing national boundaries that national customs authorities are entitled to carry out, but which have been removed at borders within the EU to create the Schengen area of free movement.


Deliberate deception used for unfair or illegal advantage. Europol and the EU networks for police cooperation facilitate the exchange of information and cooperate to prevent and prosecute fraud.

Free association

The right to associate freely in the EU has been established by the case-law of the European Court of Justice.

Free circulation of people

Free movement of people throughout the EU would not be possible without the formalised cooperation between national law enforcement agencies that takes place at EU level to thwart the movement of those involved in illegal activity.

Free expression

The right to free expression in the EU has been established by the case-law of the European Court of Justice.

Free movement of persons

A fundamental right of EU citizenship, allowing citizens to travel, live and work freely throughout the EU. The Treaty of Amsterdam communitised the area, giving the Commission a greater role in proposing initiatives.


All citizens of the EU have the right to move, live and work freely within the EU.

Freedom security and justice

The main aim in justice and home affairs as outlined by the Treaty of Amsterdam is to create an area of freedom security and justice, enabling people to freely go about legal activities throughout the EU, while impeding those fixed on illegal activities.


The EU and EC Treaties guarantee four fundamental market freedoms: free movement of goods, services, people and capital.


The area of free movement within the EU has prompted law enforcement agencies to work more closely together by sharing information about suspect or illegal movements across frontiers.

Fundamental freedoms

For EU citizens to be able to exercise fundamental freedoms particularly the right to live and work throughout the EU the judiciaries of the Member States must cooperate and standardise procedures to remove any barriers faced by the citizen in carrying out personal or economic administrative and litigious activity.

Fundamental rights

EU Treaties and case-law provide for fundamental human rights as well as rights connected with EU citizenship, such as freedom of movement throughout the EU. These rights are summed up in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, proclaimed in December 2000.

Source: European Commission - Justice and Home Affairs

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