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La libre circulation des ressortissants de l'UE

This is a text and exercises which will shortly appear on Help yourself: this would be a good one-off lesson for advanced level students.

La libre circulation des ressortissants de l'UE 

La libre circulation des travailleurs est un principe fondamental établi par l'article 45 du traité sur le fonctionnement de l'Union européenne. Les citoyens européens ont le droit:

  •  de chercher un emploi dans un autre pays de l'UE;
  •  d'y travailler sans avoir besoin d'un permis de travail;
  •  d'y vivre dans ce but;
  •  d'y rester même après avoir occupé cet emploi;
  •  de bénéficier du même traitement que les citoyens de ce pays en ce qui concerne l'accès à l'emploi, les conditions de travail et tout autre avantage social ou fiscal.

Les citoyens européens peuvent également faire transférer certains types d'assurance maladie et de régimes de sécurité sociale dans le pays dans lequel ils s'établissent pour trouver du travail.

La libre circulation des travailleurs s'applique, d'une manière générale, aux pays de l'Espace économique européen, c’est-à-dire l'Islande, le Liechtenstein et la Norvège.

Les personnes exerçant certaines professions peuvent également obtenir la reconnaissance de leurs qualifications professionnelles à l'étranger. La coordination de la sécurité sociale dans l'Union européenne établit des règles qui protègent les droits des personnes qui se déplacent au sein de l'UE, en Islande, au Liechtenstein, en Norvège et en Suisse.

Qui peut profiter de cette liberté? 

 Les demandeurs d'emploi, à savoir les citoyens de l'UE se déplaçant dans un autre pays européen afin d'y trouver un emploi (sous certaines conditions)
 Les citoyens de l'UE travaillant dans un autre pays de l'Union
 Les citoyens de l'UE retournant vivre dans leur pays d'origine après avoir travaillé à l'étranger
 Les membres de la famille de ces personnes Les droits peuvent varier quelque peu selon la situation des personnes concernées: travailleurs indépendants, étudiants, retraités ou toute autre personne économiquement inactive.

Existe-t-il des restrictions? 

 Les droits s'appliquent aux personnes qui exercent leur droit à la libre circulation dans un but professionnel.  Des limites existent pour des raisons de sécurité publique, d'ordre public, de santé publique et en ce qui concerne l'emploi dans le secteur public.  Les ressortissants croates peuvent être soumis à des restrictions temporaires.

(Informations tirées de


movement - ___________ (f) citizen, inhabitant - ______________ (m) principle - ________ (m) to establish - _________ citizen - _________ (m) aim, objective - ___ (m) fiscal (i.e. tax-related) - ______ system, regime - ________ (m) to settle - __________ recognition - ______________ (f) to move - __ _________ job-seeker - _________- _’_____ retired person - ________ (m)


 Trouvez dans le texte des noms associés aux verbes suivants :

 1. circuler 2. assurer 3. fonctionner 4. employer 5. limiter 6. traiter

Trouvez des verbes associés aux noms suivants :

 1. établissement (m)   2. protection (f)     3. exercice (m)     4. transfert (m)
5. variété (f) 6. déplacement (m)

 A discuter 

1.Expliquez le plus simplement possible le principe de la livre circulation des citoyens européens.
2. Quels sont les avantages de ce principe : (a) économiques (b) culturels (c) personnels
3. Quels sont les défis de ce principe ?
4. Pourquoi est-ce que certains sont contre le principe de la libre circulation ?
5. Dans quels domaines travaillent beaucoup de ressortissants de l’UE au Royaume- Uni ?
6. Quels sont les pays les plus populaires en Europe pour les citoyens britanniques ?
7. Quels facteurs influencent la circulation des citoyens de l’UE ?
8. Que pensent les employeurs de la libre circulation, pensez-vous ?
9. Quels moyens emploient certains pays pour contrôler l’immigration ?
10. Quel est votre point de vue sur la question ? Débat Avec un partenaire. Une personne attaque le principe de libre circulation et l’autre la défend.

Teacher’s note 

 The three main EU destinations for British citizens are, in order: Ireland, Spain and France. It is estimated that roughly 1.2 million British citizens live elsewhere in the EU, plus more who spend part of the year there.


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