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Introduction to Europe & European Law. EU Law & Homelessness 16 th July 2014 Matt Moriarty, Legal Project Manager & Rebecca Collins, Project Manager. What will we cover?. I. The European Union Founding principles EU institutions The EU and other European Structures II. EU law

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Introduction to europe european law

Introduction to Europe &European Law

EU Law & Homelessness

16thJuly 2014

Matt Moriarty, Legal Project Manager


Rebecca Collins, Project Manager

What will we cover
What will we cover?

I. The European Union

  • Founding principles

  • EU institutions

  • The EU and other European Structures

    II. EU law

  • Sources of EU law

  • Enforcing EU law

  • Who does EU law apply to?

  • Basic residence rights

The eu founding principles
The EU – Founding Principles


European Parliament

Council of the EU

European Commission

European Council



The fundamental principles of the EU guarantees the free movement of:

  • Persons

  • Goods

  • Services

  • Capital

The “Four Freedoms”

“The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law, and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities”

Topic ii eu law
Topic II:EU Law

Sources of eu law
Sources of EU law

There is a hierarchy of law in the EU:

Relationship with domestic law
Relationship with Domestic Law

Note that EU law is supreme in domestic legal systems.

In the UK, the European Communities Act 1972 established this.

  • EU law confers rights and obligations on the authorities in each member country, as well as individuals and businesses.

  • The authorities in each member country are responsible for implementing EU legislation in national law and enforcing it correctly, and they must guarantee citizens’ rights under these laws.

The EU only legislates in fields where it is empowered to do so ­­­­­by the treaties. Primarily:

  • trade within the EU – i.e. single market legislation;

  • agriculture, fisheries and food;

  • economic policy (mostly for Eurozone countries);

  • international trade;

  • competition; and

  • justice and home affairs (the UK has the right to opt-in or to opt-out in much of the latter field).

How to enforce eu law
How to Enforce EU Law

Litigation in UK Courts & Tribunals

Provisions in EU regulations, directives and treaties can be used to argue on behalf of clients at – for example – social security tribunals or housing benefit appeals

References to the CJEU

Domestic Courts, if they are struggling to interpret how EU law works in a specific situation (and there is no previous cases to help them), can refer a set of questions to the CJEU Judges. They will then decide how the provisions of EU law were intended to be interpreted in this situation

If it is thought that Member States are not properly implementing EU law then individuals, organisations or other States can write a complaint letter to the European Commission. They will investigate and tell the MS in question what they have to do to become compliant with EU Law. If the MS disagrees, refuses to comply, or takes too long to comply, then the Commission can refer the MS for judgment at the CJEU where Judges can hand down hefty fines (France was forced to pay €78m in 2005 for non-compliance in relation to fisheries law)

Infringement proceedings

Who does eu law apply to ctd
Who does EU law apply to (ctd)

Nationals of these countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

The UK is not included!*

A8 countries are underlined

A2 countries are hyphen-underlined

*There are exceptions, but these are very specific and don’t apply in general circumstances

A8 and a2 nationals
A8 and A2 Nationals

A8 – Joined in 2004

A2 – Joined in 2007

Czech Republic










Basic residence rights
Basic Residence Rights

Any EEA national has the right to move to and reside in the UK for up to three months

At the end of three months – in order to live here legally – EEA nationals must exercise “treaty rights”


After five yearsof legally living in the UK whilst exercising treaty rights (with some exceptions), EEA nationals can apply for permanent residence