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Living and Working in the EU

Living and working in the European Union.

European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) - guide 09 May 2012, 18:34 CET
The European Commission marked Europe Day, 9 May, by registering the very first European Citizens' Initiative. Other proposed initiatives were also due to be added to the online register in the coming days.

Doing business in Austria: Staff welfare 30 March 2012, 00:49 CET
This guide gives brief information on the legislation which directs social rules in the workplace in Austria.

Doing business in Finland: Staff welfare 30 March 2012, 00:50 CET
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy's Strategy and Foresight Unit coordinates equality and equal opportunities matters in Finland, as well as the Ministry's sustainable development policy.

Doing business in Germany: Staff welfare 30 March 2012, 00:49 CET
Social support in Germany is handled via the individual branches of social security: statutory medical, healthcare, pension, unemployment and accident insurance. The legal basis is provided by the Social Security Code (Sozialgesetzbuch) and the specific Acts.

Doing business in Belgium: Staff welfare 30 March 2012, 00:48 CET
Social legislation in Belgium prohibits discrimination and advocates equal opportunity and gender equality. Employers are responsible for promoting welfare within the company.

Doing business in the UK: Staff welfare 30 March 2012, 00:48 CET
Labour legislation covers basic workplace standards which employers must follow. These include protection against discrimination, the right to equal pay and the national minimum wage.

European Commission measures to tackle cross-border inheritance tax problems 15 December 2011, 18:31 CET
EU citizens who inherit foreign property are frequently faced with a tax bill from more than one Member State. In fact, in extreme cases the total value of a cross-border inherited asset might even have to be paid in tax, because several Member States may claim taxing rights on the same inheritance or tax foreign inheritances more heavily than local inheritances. Citizens may be forced to sell inherited assets, just to cover the taxes, and small businesses may face transfer difficulties on the death of their owners. To tackle these problems, the Commission on 15 December 2011 adopted a comprehensive package on inheritance taxation. Through a Communication (COM/2011/864), Recommendation (C/2011/8819) and Working Paper, the Commission analyses the problems and presents solutions related to cross-border inheritance tax in the EU.

EU immigration portal 15 June 2017, 23:09 CET
Welcome to the EU Immigration Portal. On these pages you can find practical information about coming to work or study in the EU for more than 90 days and on how to join your family in the EU. If you already are in the EU and you would like to know more about your rights or you would like to move from one EU country to another, you can also find relevant information on this Portal.

Consultation on the right to family reunification of third-country nationals living in the EU - guide 17 November 2011, 23:25 CET
The European Commission has launched a public debate on the right to family reunification of third-country nationals living in the EU. Depending on the outcome of the consultation, the Commission will decide whether any policy follow-up is necessary – such as setting up clear guidelines, modifying the current rules or leaving the legislation as it is.

EU Smart Borders - easier access and enhanced security 25 October 2011, 17:57 CET
The EU needs a more modern and efficient management of traveller flows at its external borders. Today the European Commission adopted a Communication which sets out the main options for using new technologies to simplify life for foreigners frequently travelling to the EU and to better monitor third-country nationals crossing the borders.

New Visa Information System goes live - guide 13 October 2011, 18:20 CET
The Visa Information System (VIS) started operations as from 08:00 CET today. Visa applications will now be processed much faster thanks to the use of biometrics (fingerprints and a digital facial image) which will facilitate the identification of visa holders and help to avoid identity theft. This new system will allow for a quick and effective exchange of data on short-stay visas among Schengen countries. The VIS will also reinforce the integrity of the system and strengthen trust among its member states. The first consular posts to be connected to the system are those in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia).

Schengen - strengthening the area without internal border controls to guarantee free movement - guide 19 September 2011, 15:28 CET
The European Commission has proposed to strengthen the Schengen area to guarantee free movement for the hundreds of thousands of EU citizens and third countries' nationals travelling within this territory every day. The Commission's proposals aim to put in place a more efficient and EU-based approach to Schengen cooperation. Particular challenges that may put the overall functioning of the Schengen area under strain need to be addressed in an effective and coordinated manner. The proposals provide for a stronger EU-based evaluation and monitoring system to verify and ensure the application of the Schengen rules, and for a more structured European decision-making mechanism that could allow for the temporary reintroduction of internal border controls in case of serious threat to public policy or internal security.

Right of access to a lawyer and communication with a family member - guide 08 June 2011, 23:02 CET
European Commission to guarantee suspects' rights to speak with a lawyer, inform family of arrest

Security and Fundamental Rights 18 April 2011, 00:03 CET
Calls for proposals for operating grants in the field of Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

EU framework for national Roma strategies - guide 05 April 2011, 17:30 CET
Europe's 10-12 million Roma continue to face discrimination, exclusion and the denial of their rights, while governments lose out on increased revenue and productivity because potential talent could go wasted. Better economic and social integration is an imperative – but to be effective, concerted action is needed at all levels to address the multiple causes of exclusion. The European Commission is therefore today putting forward a European Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies. This EU Framework will help guide national Roma policies and mobilise funds available at EU level to support inclusion efforts. The Framework focuses on four pillars: access to education, jobs, healthcare and housing. Member States should set individual national Roma integration goals in proportion to the population on their territory and depending on their starting point.

Annual report on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights - guide 31 March 2011, 17:00 CET
The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights has now been legally binding for over a year – primarily on the EU institutions (European Parliament, Council and the European Commission) when preparing new European laws, but also on national authorities if they are implementing EU law. As part of its efforts to make fundamental rights a reality for citizens in the EU, the European Commission is reporting for the first time on how the Charter is being applied. The Annual Report on the application of the Charter shows that fundamental rights are relevant across a wide range of policies – from data protection to immigration and asylum – and that public interest in the Charter runs high. However, the report also highlights that the Charter is frequently misunderstood. In 2010, the Commission received more than 4,000 letters from the general public regarding fundamental rights. Approximately three quarters of these concerned cases outside the remit of EU law. In addition, a recent survey by the European Ombudsman found that 72% of Europeans do not feel well informed about the Charter. Today's report is a first step in addressing these challenges, clarifying where the Charter applies and where it does not. This will ease citizens' access to justice. The report should help citizens determine where they need to turn when they believe that their fundamental rights have been violated by an EU institution or a national authority. The Annual Report is therefore part of the Commission's strategy to ensure that fundamental rights are effectively implemented so that people can rely on them in practice.

Roma and Travellers - European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights 17 March 2011, 22:44 CET
Some 10-12 million Roma and Travellers are currently living in the European Union. Almost all of the Roma and Travellers living in the European Union are EU citizens and have the same rights as any other EU citizen. The Roma make up the largest ethnic minority in the EU. Minorities have a specific mention in the Treaty of Lisbon and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Evidence has shown that they are more likely to face discrimination and social exclusion than majority populations. Some of the key findings of the Fundamental Rights Agency's research on the situation of Roma and Travellers in the EU are listed here.

Clearer property rights for Europe's 16 million international couples - guide 17 March 2011, 00:57 CET
What happens to your house if you get divorced and your spouse is of another nationality? What happens to a joint bank account if the spouse dies? What happens in such cases if you and your spouse have the same nationality, but you have property or a bank account abroad? In Europe, there are around 16 million international couples, and at least 650,000 of them face these questions every year when their marriage or partnership comes to an end. Citizens lose time and money figuring out which law applies to their case and which court is competent to help them. Legal divergences between the 27 EU Member States create an incentive for "forum shopping" or a "rush to the court." This happens when one spouse – usually the wealthier one – rushes to a court where he/she thinks the outcome will be the most beneficial. The European Commission is therefore proposing EU-wide rules to bring legal clarity to the property rights for married international couples and for registered partnerships with an international dimension. The two proposed Regulations would help identify which law applies to a couple's property rights and the responsible court. The Regulations also provide for rules for recognising and enforcing court judgments on a couple's property in all EU Member States through a single procedure. The proposals are the first deliverable of the Commission's October 2010 Citizenship Report, which outlined 25 major practical obstacles that Europeans still face in their daily lives. Today's proposals are the logical next step following the swift agreement last year on EU legislation to determine which country's rules apply in cross-border divorce cases.

EuroVoc, the EU's multilingual thesaurus 26 February 2011, 10:36 CET
EuroVoc is a multilingual, multidisciplinary thesaurus covering the activities of the EU, the European Parliament in particular. It contains terms in 22 EU languages (Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish), plus Croatian and Serbian.

Public consultation on the Professional Qualifications Directive and a European Professional Card - guide 16 February 2011, 14:38 CET
The European Commission on 7 January launched a public consultation on the Professional Qualifications Directive (Directive 2005/36/EC). The consultation is an opportunity for stakeholders to highlight areas of the Directive they feel could be simplified and made more user-friendly. It also seeks views on how to better integrate professionals working in the Single Market, and raises the option of a European Professional Card. This Directive is key to enabling professionals to take full advantage of the potential of the Single Market in finding a job or extending their business in another Member State. Updating this Directive is one of the actions set out in the Single Market Act adopted in October 2010 and follows Commission reports on how the Directive works in practice. The results of the Consultation will feed into an evaluation report and a Green Paper due this autumn. The Commission will come forward with a proposal for modernising the Directive in 2012. Stakeholders are invited to respond until 15 March 2011, and a public hearing is scheduled for 21 February 2011.

112 - Europe's single emergency number - guide 11 February 2011, 13:14 CET
To mark "European 112 Day" on 11th February, the European Commission is urging EU Member States to step up their efforts to increase public awareness of the existence of 112, the number which can be used in all Member States to reach emergency services. An EU-wide survey released today shows around three out of four EU citizens still do not know this life-saving number. However, EU telecoms rules require Member States to make their citizens aware of the 112 number. To increase the protection of EU citizens, Member States are further required to improve the accuracy and reliability of caller location information under the new EU telecoms rules, which must be implemented into national law by 25 May this year.

Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings 22 December 2010, 13:11 CET
To support efforts to fight human trafficking, Commissioner Malmström launched an anti-trafficking policy website on 21 December 2010. The website will become a one stop shop for practitioners as well as for academics, civil society and other interested persons. It will be a common gateway to information and contacts. The website includes EU policy and legislation, national information pages on all Member States and publications from a large number of organisations. A special section of the website is particularly aimed towards the public, with general information on human trafficking, interviews with people in the field and hotline number you can call if you are a victim of trafficking or if you want to report a crime. The principal language is English with abstracts in French and German to be available soon. Basic information for citizens will be available in all official languages.

EU Internal Security Strategy in Action - guide 22 November 2010, 19:43 CET
The "EU Internal Security Strategy in Action" comprises 41 actions targeting the most urgent security threats facing Europe. They include a shared agenda to disrupt criminal and terrorist networks, to protect citizens, businesses and societies against cybercrime, to increase EU security by smarter border management, and to strengthen the Union's readiness and response to crises.

Missing children hotline 116 000 - guide 17 November 2010, 22:42 CET
The European Commission today made a final call to 14 EU Member States to make the Europe-wide 116 000 hotline for missing children operational as soon as possible. The hotline provides a single number for missing children and their parents to call for help anywhere in the EU. Having the same hotline will help children and parents in trouble get help when away from home, such as during family holidays. In a report adopted today, the Commission takes stock of the situation in the Member States, proposes common minimum quality requirements for the service throughout the EU and gives Member States a last chance to make the hotline operational before considering legislative measures.

EU making sure Holocaust never happens again 17 November 2010, 22:13 CET
The Holocaust, the genocide of some 11 million Europeans, including Jews, Romani and homosexuals during the Second World War, will forever remain in our minds and history books as one of the most horrific events of our world. Seeking to get a handle on the dispersed information available for Holocaust research across Europe and elsewhere is a key objective of European researchers. Enter the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) project, whose partners will consolidate existing Holocaust archives into a single online database.