Much of economic policymaking in Europe is driven by the political objectives of the EU, not by economic rationality or efficiency considerations. Here is an interesting potential example of the same trend toward over-politicisation of decision making happening in another sphere - border controls and immigration:
Most certainly worth a read and a robust discussion.
A note to flag some absurdity of the EU policies. Take a look at this map:
Note that Balkan countries, not members of the EU, all (with exception of Kosovo) have a visa-free travel arrangement with the Schengen area. This means that a resident (both citizen and non-citizen) of these countries has visa-free access to the entire Schengen despite paying not a single cent in taxes in the EU, having no residency in the EU, having no family member with an EU citizenship, maintaining no home in the EU nor any business within the EU.
In contrast, an EU taxpayer with full residency in the UK or Ireland but who is not the national of the EU state cannot freely travel to Schengen countries. Full stop. Only one restrictive exception to this is the case where such travel is undertaken by non-EU citizen accompanying their EU-citizen spouse.
Get the madness? Those non-EU citizens who live, work, maintain homes, have families (including with EU citizens in them), run businesses in EU member states (Ireland & UK) have less rights than non-EU citizens of the countries that are not a part of the EU.
Worse than that. Absurdity goes much deeper. A non-EU citizen who is a long-term resident of Ireland and the UK, with home ownership (1), employment (2), business (3) in these states, cannot gain a long-term multi-entry visa to Schengen countries simply because the issuing authorities (embassies of Schengen countries in the UK and Ireland) cannot coordinate the frequency of travel etc between themselves. Yet, a non-EU citizen with a vacation home in, say Spain or Montenegro, has full unrestricted access to the Schengen.
"This means that a resident (both citizen and non-citizen) of these countries has visa-free access to the entire Schengen"
Are you sure that non-citizen residents can enter Schengen without a visa? So a Russian or Indian national who is living in Bosnia can enter Schengen visa free?
Bizarre if true, given that a non-citizen resident of Ireland or the UK cannot enter Schengen without a visa.
To the best of my knowledge:
Schengen is residency and citizenship-based. So, for example, a Russian resident in Italy has visa-free travel across all of Schengen, but not into Ireland or UK. A Russian resident of Croatia - ditto, as long as it has a full agreement with Schengen, which, as far as I know, it does. A Russian resident in Ireland has no visa free travel either to Schengen or to the UK. A Russian citizen married to a Northern Irish resident with both residing in the Republic, as far as I know, has no right to travel to her/his spouse's home in the North. The fact that the N. Irish border is not policed is not the point. A Russian citizen married to a Schengen country national with both residing in the UK and Ireland has visa-free travel to Schengen only in the cases when accompanying her/his spouse.
It is Byzantine and absurd. This covers families that are decades-long in marriage, with homes in the EU, including multiple homes within Schengen and Ireland/UK, with children, multi-annual residency permits, etc.
It gets worse. Irish authorities are refusing to include on passport-stamped permits to reside in Ireland any notification that the holder is "EU Family" (Type 4) resident. Which means that on some border control posts with Schengen, authorities do not recognise spouses of the EU citizens traveling with their families. All for the lack of simple stamp and due to the fact that Garda Cards issued for residency have on the back "This is not an identity card" stamped out.
Brilliant sight - crying kids, worried spouse with bags and children, and a mommy/daddy being dragged away for questioning for an hour or more because of the lack of 2 (!) words in the stamp in one's passport that ARE already stamped on the Garda 'Non-Identity' Card already...
It is possible for an Irish resident to be issued with a Stamp 4 EU fam, and this is valid for travel to a number of Schengen states (but oddly, not all). My wife (Russian) and I went to Germany on it once or twice without problems. One oddity is that the Irish immigration people will generally refuse to issue this to the spouse of an Irish citizen - they only give it to the family members of 'EU citizens' resident in Ireland, and Irish law says that an Irish citizen resident in Ireland is not an EU citizen... but, there is a loophole. My wife got Stamp4EUfam even though I am Irish. The loophole is if (you ready for this?) an Irish citizen lives with his non-EU spouse in another EU state and then returns, under Irish law, that Irish citizen is now and EU citizen. Thus his family members can get Stamp4EUfam from the Gardai. I was told by the Dept Justice that I was the first person to prove this.
Yep. As I said above. However, EUFam4 stamp allows non-EU spouses of EU citizens to travel to Schengen visa-free ONLY when accompanying their EU spouses. They cannot travel, for example, to a conference or as part of their job etc.
And, legally, they cannot travel from Ireland to the UK even if they accompanying their EU or Irish spouse.
"And, legally, they cannot travel from Ireland to the UK even if they accompanying their EU or Irish spouse."
We have done this without issues. We have flown from Ireland direct to Germany with only a stamp4EUfam. No problems.
Sorry, I misread - from Ireland to the UK. Yes, UK hasn't implimented the EU fam law
As I said - to the UK! Not Germany, the UK.
Gotcha :-) Missed your later comment by a second!
The UK's stance on Directive 2004/38/EC is probably illegal.
What do you expect from people (and economists!) who think credit bubbles are undetectable and growth promoting???
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