Mayors' Conference on EU mobility at local level

Free movement
The European Commission and the Committee of the Regions (CoR) will jointly hold a conference for EU mayors to debate the impact and challenges of the free movement of EU citizens at local level. In addition to many other prominent speakers, Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor of London for Housing, will speak about the implementation of free movement and inclusion policies within local communities.

The right to free movement of EU citizens is a cornerstone of EU integration. As part of the EU single market, it has positive effects on economies and labour markets and brings economic benefits not only to those who move but also to those who stay home. At the same time, free movement can create inclusion challenges for local authorities, which are at the forefront to welcome EU citizens within the local community.

This Conference is part of the European Commission's response to enable local authorities to share best practices developed across Europe in implementing free movement rules and addressing social inclusion. A number of cities have developed specific policies to deal with newcomers, be it one stop-shop information at time of their arrival, inclusion in the local economy, entrepreneurship, or actions addressing multiculturalism. 

The conference represents one of the five actions defined by the European Commission in response to some Member States' concerns regarding free movement of EU citizens, as presented in the Communication on Free movement adopted in November 2013. It will also build on the conclusions of an independent study commissioned by the Commission on the impact of the free movement of EU citizens at local level, which analyses the situation in six European cities, namely Barcelona, Dublin, Hamburg, Lille, Prague and Turin (to be released shortly).

Aside from EU mayors and municipal councilors, the main speakers to the event include Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, CoR President, Gerhard Stahl, CoR Secretary-General, Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship and Françoise Le Bail, European Commission's Director-General for Justice.

The event will take place in the CoR premises in Brussels on 11 February 2014, from 9.30 to 18:00.