15 Apr 2021

The implementation and application of citizens` rights in the EU is monitored by the Commission in accordance with the EU treaties. The text of the Citizens` Rights Withdrawal Agreement is very precise, so it can be invoked directly by EU citizens in British courts and by British citizens in the courts of the Member States. Not all national legislation that is compatible with the provisions of the withdrawal agreement should be enforced. The section on citizens` rights in the VA is unchanged from the VA, which was previously negotiated by the government in May. Although some provisions are controversial, citizens` rights have been adopted at a relatively early stage in negotiations between the EU and the UK. The VA authorizes either a declaratory or “constitutive” system for verifying a person`s rights. The system put in place by the United Kingdom – the EU regulation system (EUSS) – is “constitutive”. This means that individuals must successfully apply to the EUSS in order to define the guarantees provided in the VA. The withdrawal agreement will protect the residence, employment and social security rights of Finnish citizens residing in the UK and UK citizens residing in Finland if they are established in the UK or Finland before 1 January 2021. With the Brexit transition period coming to an early end, the UK and EU member states are racing against time to finalise and implement their withdrawal agreements. However, during a period of critical programming, the COVID 19 pandemic significantly reduced priorities and resulted in additional burdens for both EU governments and citizens in the UK and for British citizens in the European Union. If you have residence rights under the withdrawal agreement, you also have the right to be treated on an equal footing with nationals of the country in which you live and not to be discriminated against. Overall, they have the same rights to work, education and access to benefits and services as they did before the UK left the EU.

The long-existing EU Social Security Coordination Regulations provide a reciprocal framework for protecting the social security rights of people moving between EEA states (and Switzerland). The regulations specify in which state a person is insured, require equal access to benefits, allow the aggregation of insurance periods in different countries and allow “the export of certain benefits”. A proven system of administrative cooperation forms the basis of regulation. See also the brief summary of citizens` rights for British nationals. The opt-out agreement protects EU citizens residing in the UK and UK nationals who, at the end of the transition period, are staying in one of the 27 EU Member States. EU citizens and British citizens entering the host state during the transition period enjoy the same rights and obligations under the withdrawal agreement as those who arrived in the host state before 1 February 2020. The right of every EU citizen and his or her family to live, work or study in an EU member state is one of the foundations of the European Union. Many EU and UK citizens have made their life decisions on the basis of rights related to the free movement of people under EU law.