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Internal Market: Liechtenstein must better ensure the right of free movement of persons



The EFTA Surveillance Authority finds that Liechtenstein rules do not fully ensure the rights of EEA nationals and their family members under Directive 2004/38/EC on free movement and residence.

The Directive aims to ensure that EEA nationals and their family members can fully enjoy their rights to freely travel, live and work anywhere in the EEA. The Authority has been monitoring the implementation and application of the directive in the three EFTA States. In April 2014, Liechtenstein amended its legislation to meet most of the concerns raised by the Authority. It has also expressed its willingness to take steps to solve the outstanding issues.

Nevertheless, Liechtenstein has not yet brought its national law fully in line with EEA law. As a consequence, the Authority today issued a reasoned opinion to Liechtenstein.

The Authority holds the view that Liechtenstein must facilitate entry and residence for certain family members of EEA nationals, such as dependants, members of the household or persons requiring the personal care by the EEA national, as well as for the partner with whom the EEA national has a durable relationship. In these cases, Liechtenstein must base its decision on an extensive examination of the personal circumstances with the objective of maintaining the unity of the family.

Liechtenstein must also abolish the restrictions currently in place for EEA nationals residing there to take up employment in another EEA State. Liechtenstein's concerns regarding circumvention of the quota system for residence permits could, in the view of the Authority, be solved in a less restrictive way.

A reasoned opinion is the second stage in infringement proceedings. The Authority may bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Liechtenstein fails to take the measures necessary to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months.

 For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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