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EU to investigate cartes de séjour problems in France

The European Commission has been asked to check into problems with the issue of cartes de séjour to British citizens in France.

The MEPs’ taskforce on citizens’ rights in the EU after Brexit has tabled a parliamentary question on the issue, after hearing from many Britons, including Connexion readers, about their difficulties.

These include people not being issued the full ‘permanent’ cards they are entitled to after five years in France, as well as some prefectures refusing to accept applications from Britons.

MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld told Connexion: “It’s a question to the European Commission, so they will have to verify whether France is correctly applying EU law on free movement and citizens’ rights. We’ll wait for the answer but I think the commission is very aware of the urgency of this issue and if they are not aware we will make sure they are.”

The question says: “As long as the UK remains a member of the EU the treaties guarantee the UK citizens the EU citizenship rights which are indivisible and apply to residence, work, social security, health, non-discriminatory treatment, and judicial redress before the European Court of Justice.

“Nevertheless we are receiving multiple signals from among the approximately 1.8million UK citizens living in other EU countries that their right to obtain permanent residence as guaranteed by directive 2004/38/EC is not respected.

“Responsible local and national authorities act as if EU citizens’ rights have been ‘suspended’ for UK citizens in anticipation of Brexit by replying that the files of Europeans who apply for a residence permit are not treated as a priority since they are not compulsory.

“Is the European Commission aware of the problems encountered by UK citizens who are denied full enjoyment of their rights as EU citizens, and which measures will it take to address this discriminatory treatment? Will the commission ensure that the EU citizenship rights of UK citizens living in other EU countries will be respected and effectively guaranteed during the full period that the UK is a member of the EU?”

The commission is expected to reply before the end of the month.

The EU citizens taskforce is a group from several countries including Britain who are investigating the situation of EU27 citizens in Britain and British people in the EU27, in the light of Brexit.

They held two events in Brussels this week: on Wednesday night at a private venue and on Thursday at the European Parliament. We will carry a full report of these in the June issue of The Connexion. Today is the last day to subscribe to receive the paper at your home.

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