progress in implementing Directive 2004/38/EC and registered partnerships

A response from the European Commission to a written question by UK MEP Graham Watson. Since Belgium and Luxembourg have not transposed the Directive, it now has direct effect as law in each country.

Answer given by Mr Frattini
on behalf of the Commission

Directive 2004/38/EC of Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States provides for the right of registered partners to accompany or join a Union citizen in the host Member State which treats registered partnerships as equivalent to marriage. Such a right is granted in accordance with conditions laid down in the relevant legislation of the host Member State.

The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom have informed the Commission that they recognise registered partnerships as equivalent to marriage for the purposes of free movement under the Directive.

Belgium and Luxembourg have not yet transposed the Directive but national law of the former provides for same-sex marriages and that of the latter for registered partnerships.

No information is available at the moment for Bulgaria and Romania.

The remaining Member States do not recognise registered partnerships as equivalent to marriage for the purposes of free movement under the Directive.

Without prejudice to the right of non-discrimination with regard to nationals, a Member State which does not treat registered partnerships as equivalent to marriage is obliged to facilitate entry and residence of registered partners in accordance with its national legislation under Article 3(2) of the Directive. It must undertake an extensive examination of personal circumstances of the registered partners, notably by taking into consideration their relationship with the Union citizen. Refusal of entry and residence must be justified, notified in writing and is subject to an appeal.

The Commission has no detailed information on how this obligation is dispatched by the national administrations in practice.

With regard to the obligation of the Commission to submit a report on the application of this Directive to Parliament and the Council, laid down by Article 39 of the Directive, the date of 30 April 2006 was an obvious error and a corrigendum to the Directive specified that Article 39 of the Directive should read that the report shall be submitted no later than 30 April 2008.

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  • mym  On July 26, 2007 at 23:03

    The answer seems to leave out “not” from “a Member State which does treat registered partnerships”.

  • mym  On July 27, 2007 at 14:32

    Thanks for correcting it 🙂

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