Family Life and Safety


Apart from the right to free movement of EU citizens also the free movement of their family members has been tackled by the European Union. When an EU national is working abroad in another EU country, family members also have the right to reside and work in that country, regardless of their nationality. This means that family members do not need a work permit to work, even if they are non-EU nationals. Furthermore they have the right to equal treatment, including access to all social and tax advantages. Also the Children of EU nationals working abroad in another EU country have the right to be educated in the host country, whatever their nationality, on the same terms as nationals of that country. Moreover, they must also be given the same access to study grants.
In assessing EU policy options, potential impacts of an option on the rights of families need to be assessed. In how far does an option facilitate the free movement and residence of family members or how does it contribute to related aspects like the harmonization of divorce/maintenance rights, parental responsibilities or property relations?

Guiding Question

Does the policy option affect family life or the legal, economic or social protection of the family?

Relevant Policies

  • Directive 2004/38 provides a single legal instrument on free movement of EU citizens and their family members. The Directive lays down simple administrative formalities and gives to EU citizens and their families a right of permanent residence after five years of residence in the host Member State. The Directive extends family reunification rights to registered partners under certain conditions.

For a complete overview on EU fundamental rights, policies and case law regarding the privacy of individuals, please compare


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Further Sources of Data

Further Sources of Information

Eurostat Indicators

Other Official Indicators