Thursday, 12 February 2009

Freedom to move and reside ─ UK style

Head of Legal in ‘Geert Wilders: and another thing …’ has commented:

So have many others on the UK Home Office’s refusal to let Dutch MP Geert Wilders into the country.

But a few more posts may be needed in order to get the member states and the Commission into active mode.

We are speaking about free movement of people, one of the cornerstones of the internal market, indeed the European Union.

We are speaking about the so called Citizenship Directive 2004/38/EC.

And we are speaking of the freedom of expression and information enshrined by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Charter the United Kingdom has not opted out of.

What does the Home Office do?

It declares a supposedly peaceful man ‘persona non grata’ as a risk for public security.


The right to move and reside freely is subject only to a few exceptions, and as exemptions they must be interpreted narrowly. Public policy, public security and public health cannot be defined unilaterally by governments to cover every facet of human life they happen to dislike. Otherwise there would be no rule of law, only arbitrariness. Sometimes one wonders at the ability of governments to undo themselves.


European competition

Without vigilant media and bloggers European governments would harm themselves far more often and far more seriously than presently.

But knowingly or unknowingly they disregard the rule of law all too often.

Perhaps a measure of the open method of coordination is called for(?) Benchmarking, best (worst) practice and the like.

Let me suggest that the UK Home Office on the freedom to move and reside and French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the virtues of the internal market constitute the benchmarks for incredible government action within an EU context for the rest of the year.

Let us compare later gaffes with these to see what we come up with during the rest of 2009. We live in interesting times.

Ralf Grahn