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Labour

Overview

Labour market policy

Basic income support for jobseekers

Skilled workers

Transformation of the world of work

Labour Law

Occupational Safety and Health

Social Affairs

Overview

Social Insurance

Statutory accident insurance

Old-age security in Germany

Social Assistance

Socialcompensation law

Health Care

Participation and inclusion

Europe and the World

Overview

Europe

Overview

#MySocialEurope: Germany's Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Employment and social policy in the EU

Working in another EU country

EU external relations

Migration from third countries

European Funds

Overview

European Social Fund (ESF)

European Globalisation Fund (EGF)

Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD)

International

Overview

International Employment and Social Policy

Labour and Social Policy at the G7/G20 Levels

Corporate Social Responsibility

Twinning in Labour and Social Policy (Administrative partnerships)

Bilateral social security agreements outside the European Union

International Organisations

Services

Overview:  Services

Contact

Publications

Overview

Shopping cart

Press

Overview

Recent Publications

Press photos

Overview

Press photos of the minister

Press photos of the state secretaries

RSS

The Ministry

Overview: The Ministry

BMAS at a Glance

Political Staff

Visitor Centre

Europe

Legal framework

The free movement (of workers) is enshrined in the European treaties and is spelled out in more detail by EU Directives and Regulations

The free movement of EU citizens comprises the right to move freely within the European Union (EU) and to enter any member state and reside there. It is enshrined in Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and in conjunction with Article 18 of the TFEU it also encompasses non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality. The right to free movement is especially fleshed out in Directive 2004/38/EC /(Free Movement Directive) and was transposed into German national law by the Freedom of Movement Act/EU.

The Free Movement Directive (cited with articles below) and the Freedom of Movement Act/EU (cited with sections below) provide for an incremental right of residence for different groups of persons and constellations:

  • Permanent residence status usually after five years of uninterrupted, lawful residence (Article 16; section 2 (2) no. 7)
  • Employment status (as an employee or self-employed person) as well as a status tied to employment (Art. 7 (1) (a); section 2 (2) no. 1 or Art. 7 (3); section 2 (3)
  • Economically inactive persons with adequate means of subsistence and health insurance coverage (Art. 7 (1) (b), section 2 (2) no. 5)
  • Jobseekers usually for a period of six months and longer if there is a prospect of employment (CJEU ruling “Antonissen” [C-292/89]; section 2 (2) no. 1a)
  • Unconditional right to freedom of movement for EU citizens during the first three months of residence (Art. 6; section 2 (5))
  • Family members of the groups of persons listed above (Art. 6 - 18; section 3)

The free movement of workers under Article 45 TFEU and the freedom of establishment for self-employed persons and companies within the EU under Article 49 of the TFEU constitute special forms of the free movement of persons.

The free movement of workers set out in Article 45 of the TFEU is spelled out in further detail in Regulation (EU) No 492/2011 for migrant workers and their family members. In particular, mobile workers may not be treated differently from domestic workers when it comes to access to employment and working conditions and they have a right to the same social or tax advantages. A worker from another EU member state may also not be treated worse than domestic workers when it comes to access to housing or training or assistance provided by employment agencies.

Directive 2014/54/EU contains provisions facilitating the enforcement of these rights to free movement of workers for migrant workers and their family members in practice.

Europe