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REASON 10: Protect our right to live and work in Europe.

Living

Ireland's membership of the European Union has meant that all Irish citizens, as EU citizens, can move and reside freely within any other EU state.  So long as you have a valid passport or identity card you can enter any other EU state without the need for a visa.  This means that Irish people and families can go on holiday within Europe free of the restrictions that apply to non EU tourists.

Working

It also means that Irish people can work freely around the EU.  An Irish worker in another EU country is entitled to the same treatment as a person from that country in terms of access to employment, pay rates, training, employment conditions, tax provisions and cannot be treated differently because of their nationality. 

European law also means that applicants from an EU country who apply for jobs in the EU must be prioritised over non EU applicants.

Studying

Being in the EU makes it easier for an Irish person to get recognition for an educational or professional qualification in another EU country.  Being in the EU has enabled thousands of Irish students to study in the EU as part of their third level education.

What Does the Lisbon Treaty Say?

The Lisbon Treaty does not change the rules in this area.

Title III of the Lisbon Treaty deals with free movement of persons, services and capital. The Treaty makes it an aim of the countries to “facilitate the free movement of persons, while ensuring the safety and security” of people by establishing an area of freedom, security and justice and “to maintain and develop the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice, in which the free movement of persons is assured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum, immigration and the prevention and combating of crime”.

Article 14 of the Treaty states : “The internal market shall comprise an area without internal frontiers in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty.”