The European Commission has finally released the required review of how well member states are implementing Directive 2004/38/EC.
The focus of this review is on comparing the sections of the Directive (each of which is required to be implemented by the member state) with corresponding sections of the member state implementation law or regulations.
All Member States have adopted national laws to protect the right of EU citizens and their families to move and reside freely within the EU.
Although national laws in some areas treat EU citizens and their families better than EU law requires, not one single Member State has transposed the Directive effectively and correctly in its entirety. Not one Article of the Directive has been transposed effectively and correctly by all Member States.
The overall transposition of the Directive is rather disappointing.
Unfortunately the review is mainly at this legal level. There was little attempt to capture how smoothly things have been implemented for citizens on the ground, such as whether visas are actually issued “as soon as possible and on the basis of an accelerated process”, or whether Residence Cards are truly issued as soon as possible and in no cases later than 6 months after the application.
The European Commission release has three interesting pieces:
- A report from the European Comission to the European Parliament and the Council discussing implementation progress of Directive 2004/38/EC
- A video of a press conference by Jacques Barrot discussing issues raised by the report and by implementation of the Directive (The audio has two separate channels. One side is English translation of the Q&A, and the other side is the original language version)
- A revised “Guide to getting the most out of Directive 2004/38/EC“