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Free movement of people: five actions to benefit citizens, growth and employment in the EU

The joint responsibility of Member States and the EU institutions to uphold EU citizens' rights to live and work in another EU country is underlined in a policy paper just adopted by the European Commission. To support Member States' efforts to do so, the Commission's paper outlines five concrete actions to strengthen the right to free movement, while helping Member States to reap the positive benefits it brings. The policy paper clarifies EU citizens' rights to free movement and access to social benefits, and addresses the concerns raised by some Member States in relation to the challenges that migration flows can represent for local authorities.

"The right to free movement is a fundamental right and it goes to the heart of EU citizenship. More than two thirds of Europeans say that free movement is beneficial for their country. We have to strengthen and safeguard it," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner. “I am aware of the concerns of some Member States regarding potential abuses related to mobility flows. Abuse weakens free movement. The European Commission is there to lend a helping hand to Member States to deal with such challenges. That's why today the Commission put forward five actions that will help Member States tackle potential abuse cases and use EU money for social inclusion more effectively. Let's work together on safeguarding the right to free movement. European citizens count on this."

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