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HOME AFFARS : EU RIGHTS CLINIC LAUNCHED.

Helping European citizens and their families assert their rights is the aim of the EU Rights Clinic, launched on 10 January by European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) and Kent University in Brussels. "Twenty years after European citizenship was created with the Maastricht Treaty, awareness of rights is increasing in Europe while respect for them is deteriorating," said Tony Venables, the director of ECAS.

The initiative comes in the context of the European Year of Citizens and aims to collect evidence about problematic cases, particularly in the areas of barriers to free movement of young job seekers and students, entry and residence in the European Union (obtaining visas and right to family reunification) and social security across borders. It will work on grouping similar complaints and requests in order to boost their impact and promote respect for European rights.

Individuals who fail to find a solution to their problems through Solvit or Europe Direct can either call the clinic's hotline (+322 548 04 94), send an e-mail (rightsclinic@ecas.org), complete an online form or call via Skype (rights.clinic01 rights.clinic02; rights.clinic03). They will receive free assistance from students enrolled in the EU migration law course at Kent University, overseen by the ECAS team, lawyers and citizens' rights advisers. Cases that require national action will be handled in cooperation with national partners, including Groupe d'Information et de Soutien des Immigres (GISTI) in France, the Kent Law Clinic and AIRE Centre in the UK, ACCEM in Spain, the Union of Citizens' Assistance Offices in Poland and the National Association of Citizens' Assistance Offices (NACAB) in Romania. These services will initially be offered in English, French, Italian and Dutch. Other languages will follow, assures the organisation.

Background

The 29th annual report on monitoring the application of EU law' - COM(2012)714 final, published on 30 November 2012 - signals multiple infringements of European rights. One of its findings is that late transposition is increasing: in 2011, the Commission launched 1,185 procedures for late transposition, compared with 855 in 2010 and 531 in 2009. The three policy areas where the most late transposition infringement proceedings were launched in 2011 were transport (240), internal market and services (198) and health and consumers (164).

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Title Annotation:European Union
Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jan 15, 2013
Words:370
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