Journal article

Publication details

Free movement of third-country nationals in the European Union: the illusion of inclusion
in journal: European Law Review

Volume number: 35
Issue number: 4
Release year: 2010
Page range: 367-384

Author(s) details

Anja Wiesbrock

Publication description

discrimination, eu law, EU nationals, Free movement of persons, Highly-skilled migrant workers, nationality, Research, residence, students, Third country nationals
In recent years certain categories of third-country nationals have been endowed with free-movement rights, a privilege previously reserved to EU citizens and their family members. This article critically analyses the mobility provisions contained in the Directives on long-term residents, students, researchers and highly-qualified migrants and their implementation at the national level. It argues that by subjecting third-country nationals to numerous, nationally-determined requirements, the very raison d'ĂȘtre of the mobility provisions is undermined. Rather than enjoying free-movement rights on the basis of a status acquired under Union law, third-country nationals continue to be subject to national discretion when intending to move to another Member State. The limited scope of the mobility provisions and their restrictive application in the Member States constitutes a missed opportunity to generate full inclusiveness of third-country nationals in the internal market. It also contradicts the objectives formulated in the 2009 Stockholm Programme to approximate the rights of legally resident third-country nationals to those of EU citizens and to encourage labour migration as a way of increasing the European Union's competitiveness. The article concludes by suggesting ways in which the effectiveness of mobility rights of third-country nationals could be improved.