Un premier mai frénétique

Le 1er mai 2006 est une date essentielle pour l’Europe. C’est en effet la date limite d’application en droit national de la directive de l’Union européenne relative à la libre circulation des personnes. La plupart des pays ont déjà modifié leur législation en matière d’immigration, ou ont promis de le faire dans les temps. Mais la Belgique, l’Italie, la Finlande et le Luxembourg sont à la traîne.

Il est vrai que certains anciens Etats membres de l’UE ont choisi d’interdire les migrations de travailleurs pendant une période transitoire de deux ans, qui pourrait être prolongée jusqu’en avril 2011. Toutefois, cette interdiction ne concerne ni les travailleurs indépendants ni les personnes qui ne travaillent pas, qui circulent déjà totalement librement.

Si la directive diffère peu du droit communautaire antérieur en ce qui concerne les migrations de salariés et de travailleurs indépendants, elle élargit considérablement les droits des citoyens de l’UE qui ne travaillent pas. Elle accorde en effet à tout citoyen de l’UE un permis de séjour pouvant aller jusqu’à cinq ans dans n’importe quel Etat membre, puis le statut de résident permanent. En principe, même les immigrants inactifs bénéficient alors de la même protection sociale que les ressortissants.

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