free movement of persons
free movement of personsthe right of persons to move freely within the EUROPEAN UNION. One of the essential components of the common market of the European Communities. The rules on this topic are considered by the Court of Justice of the European Union to be of fundamental importance. The principle of non-discrimination is fundamental to the treaties. The free movement rules have DIRECT EFFECT. There is a distinction made in the rules between workers who are employed and earn a wage and non-wage earners such as tradesmen and professionals. Wage earners' freedom is protected by rules on non-discrimination on ground ofnationality. Non-wage earners are protected by provisions on freedom of establishment and the right to provide services. Workers have the right to accept job offers and also have the right to free movement if they seriously want to work as an employed person. The rules protect certain part-time workers. The worker may stay in another Member State and may take his family with him. Indeed, extensive rights are given to the worker's family to give substance to the worker's right to move. A worker may stay after having been employed. Rules have been laid down to make sure that workers do not lose social security rights. Free movement of workers can be restricted on the basis of public policy, public security or public health (as defined by the Community). As far as non-wage earners are concerned, the rules are found under FREEDOM OF ESTABLISHMENT and under FREE MOVEMENT OF SERVICES.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006