Journal article

Publication details

‘Darling you are not going anywhere’: The right to exit and restrictions in EU law
in journal: European Law Review

Volume number: 40
Issue number: 6
Release year: 2015
Page range: 877-894

Author(s) details

Adam Łazowski

Publication description

eu law, EU nationals, Free movement of persons, international law, Rights of entry and residence
This article is devoted to the right to exit and restrictions that may be imposed by the Member States on the movement rights of EU citizens and their family members. Until recently the right to exit has generally not been an issue for EU practitioners and scholars. Never before in the history of Europe have individuals been so free to experience the joys of international travel, economic activity abroad or residence in another European country. Conceptually, the right to leave is firmly anchored in the acquis on the free movement of persons and, as such, it is largely taken for granted. It encapsulates freedom and personal liberty, which the citizens of the EU benefit from. It is a conditio sine qua non for the exercise of the right to move and reside freely, established in art.21 TFEU. This analysis unlocks the right to exit, as provided for in EU law, and demonstrates that it is not a straightforward affair. EU law does not provide a holistic set of rules, but co-exists with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), other international conventions and the domestic legislation of the Member States. It is a matrix of legal regimes which means that the overall picture becomes blurred. The discussion has recently gained momentum as a number of Member States are making attempts to stop their own citizens from going to the Middle East to fight for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In this case, the EU legislation in question may be perceived by some as a straitjacket limiting the powers of national authorities to refuse exit on security grounds.