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Migration and Home Affairs


The right of EU citizens and legally resident third-country nationals (in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community) to move and reside freely within the territory of the EU Member States.


Derived by EMN from Art. 45 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights


  • BG: право на свободно движение
  • CS: právo volného pohybu
  • DE: Recht auf Freizügigkeit
  • EL: δικαίωμα ελεύθερης κυκλοφορίας
  • EN: right to free movement
  • ES: derecho a la libre circulación
  • ET: vaba liikumise õigus
  • FI: oikeus liikkua vapaasti
  • FR: droit à la libre circulation
  • GA: ceart saorghluaiseachta
  • HU: szabad mozgáshoz való jog
  • IT: diritto di libera circolazione
  • LT: laisvo judėjimo teisė
  • LV: tiesības brīvi pārvietoties
  • MT: Dritt għal-libertà tal-moviment / għall‑moviment bla xkiel / għall-merħ ħieles
  • NL: recht op vrij verkeer
  • PL: prawo do swobodnego przepływu
  • PT: direito de livre circulação
  • RO: dreptul la liberă circulaţie
  • SK: právo na slobodný pohyb / právo na voľný pohyb
  • SL: pravica do prostega gibanja
  • SV: rätt till fri rörlighet
  • NO: rett til fri bevegelse (b); rett til fri rørsle (n)
  • KA: თავისუფალი გადაადგილების უფლება
  • UK: право на свободу пересування


  • freedom of movement

Narrower Term(s)


1. The right to free movement is one of the basic rights of EU citizens which was initially one of the founding rights in the establishment of the European Union and enshrined in Art. 21(1) of TFEU ; it has been developed by EU secondary legislation and the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
2. Free movement of workers also applies to the countries in the European Economic Area (IS, LI, NO) and to CH.
3. The provisions of the treaties in relation to freedom of movement apply in the same way to the ten EU Member States that joined the EU in 2004, BG and RO that joined in January 2007 and HR, which joined in July 2013. Some of the original EU Member States (before May 2004) apply transitional agreements that currently restrict freedom of movement to workers for a certain time period (see the description of freedom of movement on the European Citizens’ Information website).
4. Freedom of movement and residence are granted, in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community, only for certain categories of third-country nationals, i.e. long-term residents, highly-skilled workers, researchers and students. Whilst third-country nationals who hold a valid residence permit or visa have the right to move freely within the Schengen area for up to three months within a six-month period, the rights in relation to taking up residence for a period exceeding three months in another EU Member State are covered by specific legal instruments, depending on their status, and subject to conditions in national legislation.