Small but without limits

European law and protection for citizenship of the European Union

European law and protection for citizenship of the European Union


Brexit and the enthusiasm of some Britons (“Freedom!”) to leave the European Union creates disadvantages and burdens for citizens, where the Ukrainian people desires it so much.? What is the added or negative value for every citizen of a country that is part of the European Union?


Europeen parliament Brussels

1. The free movement of persons between its member countries seems to be the most striking characteristic. This applies to nationals of a Member State, the employees of a Member State to be able to work in another EU country, this also applies to self-employed persons and companies of these states. It seems that precisely this freedom was one of the most decisive elements, which was perceived as a disadvantage for the British voter.

There are, however, restrictions associated with a threat to public order, public security or public health. However, there are few concrete examples of this.

The danger to safety must be based on the behavior of the person concerned, but the existence of a criminal conviction against that person is not in itself a reason.

Countries may impose restrictions for the public interest.

In our country, for example, a citizen of a member state of the European Union is expected to be able to demonstrate sufficient financial independence in terms of income for a stay longer than three months.

In practice, this is assessed very broadly by the Court of Justice. The avoidance of serious harm to the financial equilibrium of social security is also such a criterion, but here too it is explained very strictly, so that practically no application cases can be found. Expulsion from the country will therefore very rarely happen.

2. In addition to this free movement, citizenship of the Union provides the right to equal treatment and thus a prohibition of discrimination.

3. In addition, the Court of Justice monitors the protection of fundamental rights, not only existing ones (such as the ECHR, the European Convention on Human Rights) (e.g. art.8: the right to privacy) but even additional rights , such as those that can be found in the Charter.

What this Court pronounces is in a way binding on the Member States. If someone considers themselves to be harmed, and believes that one of those fundamental rights has been violated by the rules applied in that country, then this Member State will be taken to the Court of Justice. In the event of a conviction (more of an exception, of course), not only will this Member State adapt its legislation, but the other Member States will also take it into account.

The Court of Justice has already established a very broad case law on the application of the ECHR ((e.g. the protection of personal data, the right to keep one's health status secret (e.g. the presence of students or other unnecessary persons during a medical intervention[1], medical confidentiality, respect for family life with regard to Article 8 ECHR; the right to freely choose his place of residence in the state in which one resides lawfully (Article 2 of the 4th Protocol to the ECHR), etc. )).

These rights are also the basis of the right to assist a lawyer in questioning by the police for violations, for which a prison sentence is foreseen (the so-called Salduz judgment is the first and most well-known judgment; Turkey was convicted for having a 17-year-old supporter of the PKK on the basis of his confessions, which he had made at the first interrogation, but subsequently withdrew, alleging that he was being pressured; the assistance of a lawyer in such interrogation was deemed necessary).

4. Another eg. is the inviolability of the home when trying to arrest an illegal person.

Illegals can be detained for forced return to their country of origin (or country of first entry - cf. Dublin III Convention). This then takes place in a closed center. In case of arrest, the foreign national can have the legality of the arrest tested before the Council Chamber (afterwards AI, and possibly Cassation), which in practice takes place on the basis of art. 3, 4, 8 and 12 ECHR (prohibition of torture, slavery, right to privacy, right to marry). Entering a house without an order from the investigating judge, only on the offense of illegal residence, is not possible (HvC 13.4.2018, AR no.C.17.0191.F; RW 2018-19, p. 1262). This crime does not provide adequate punishment to issue an arrest warrant.

5. The Social Charter , which prescribes important protection for the employee, follow from this.

Specific rights in the Charter that deviate from the general basic rights (found in the ECHR) are, for example, the right to marry and to found a family (regardless of gender), the freedom of information, the rights of the children but also the rights of the elderly, the right to good administration, the integration of people with disabilities, etc.

6. Please note, this is so-called supra-national legislation, ie it takes precedence over our legislation. When our laws conflict with it, they must yield to it.

And they can be invoked by anyone in any court!

7. The EU is also known for its extensive legislation, which interferes with everything (properties of foodstuffs, dimensions of consumables (gherkins), ...), instead of dealing with major international problems.

It is also known for the increasingly visible disadvantages of the single currency, the EURO (€), especially for those countries that have difficulty competing against strong economies with strong exports.

However, it is less known for the enormous contribution it has made to the protection of consumer rights in purchases, business services, financial transactions. The protection of privacy in our social media society is also a substantial realization of European legislation.

8. GDPR is naturally the strongest expression of the protection of the individual about his personal information.

Information ( towards consumers ) has to be formally and grammatically intelligible  ( ECJ 30.4.2014, C-26/13; ECJ 28.7.2016, C:2016:612 ).

All the elements of the transaction have to be provided in a clear and comprehensible  way in order to allow  the consumer to evaluate the legal and economic consequences of het choice ( ECJ, 21.12.2016, C:2016:980). In orde to assess such criteria, it is necessary to take into account all the factual elements, such as how the trader represents herself ( e.g. in promotional materials  ) and what is the reasonable expectation of attention from the average consumer ( ECJ 26.2.2015; C:2015:127 ).

This transparency, teh use of clear and plain language, are therefore also expressed in the art. 13 and 14 GDPR. It recognises the importance of  visualisation and the importance of iconography. Where the icons  are presented electronically the shall be machine- readable. A version for the set of icons are released in the Annex of the first reading of the European Parlement on the GDPR proposal .

9.  So, in a nutshell, this is a summary of the more than laudable concerns that have grown within the European Union to protect the individual and his fundamental values.

At present, however, some of these rights are at odds with the resistance and fear of being overwhelmed by immigration. (For example, states are condemned for violating the right to humanity in trying to prevent people smuggling overseas - the so-called pushbacks). the recent discussion about whether or not they have the right of a visa for the residents of a country in war. The reception of people is a general human duty, but if an influx were to arise, this could endanger the stability of countries. Undoubtedly it is one of the reasons why in some countries there is a great resistance against this European legislation and case law, which therefore takes precedence over the legislation of the country concerned.

However, it is clear that for every individual, all these rights and possibilities (whose concrete application cases are not yet clearly visible to all) bring enormous added value for every national of a country of the Union. (Text revised until 27.04.2019 ). Anyone who follows life in China will notice the enormous difference there. It's a life choice.

[1] ECHR 9.10.2014, no. 37873/04, Konovalova v. Russia, has ruled that the hospital is liable and  violated art. 8 ECHR in the presence of students during childbirth, where consent was requested at a time when the patient was fairly sedated