Freedom of Movement- an Economic and Political Right

  • Derrick Wyatt


The present writer has adopted the broad concept of harmonisation suggested by Alan Dashwood in Chapter 1, namely ‘the adjustment of legal provisions in the Member States to the extent that they may be necessary in order to enable the system envisaged by the Treaty to function properly’. The system envisaged by the EEC Treaty is one in which individuals are free to pursue economic activities unhindered by the existence of national frontiers. The free movement of persons may be said to have an economic rationale: a common market, characterised by the free movement of factors of production as well as of goods, would be incomplete without provision for the free movement of labour. Yet such a functional economic approach does less than justice to the aspirations of the Treaty, which are to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe. In the words of the declaration issued after the Summit conference of October 1972: ‘The Member States reaffirm their resolve to base the Community’s development on democracy, freedom of opinion, free movement of men and ideas and participation by the people through their elected representatives’.1 It is hardly too much to suggest that the Treaty vests basic political2 rights in the nationals of the Member States, when it grants to them the right to move freely about their business in the Community, and provides for the election of their Assembly by ‘direct universal suffrage’.3


Member State Free Movement Mutual Recognition National Court Professional Title 
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  1. 4.
    See e.g., Case 41/74, Van Duyn v. Home Office [1974] ECR 1337.Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    See Ulrich Everling, The Right of Establishment in the Common Market (Alphen aan den Rijn, 1964), p. 51.Google Scholar
  3. T. Kapteyn and V. van Themaat, Introduction to the Law of the European Communities (1973), p. 213.Google Scholar
  4. T. C. Hartley, ‘The Internal Personal Scope of the Immigration Provisions’, European Law Review| (1978) 203–4.Google Scholar

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© The Macmillan Press Ltd 1981

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  • Derrick Wyatt

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