Freedom of movement is not so free when European citizenship legislation is not implemented correctly. The challenges that mobile EU citizens face as a result can cause them time, money, and nerves.
While EU citizenship rights are granted by the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, upholding them is often in the hands of the public administrations in the different Member States. Overwhelming evidence suggests that many of the obstacles faced by citizens when claiming their EU rights are due to the incorrect implementation of the relevant legislation on a national level.
Effectively addressing this issue must include the providing of targeted training to civil servants and relevant national, regional and local experts. By enhancing their knowledge on EU citizenship and related political rights, they will be better enabled to understand, and therefore serve, the EU mobile citizens in their country.

We are therefore excited to open the second phase of the IMPEU Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)! Based on a needs assessment, the online training modules combine theory with practice, including the fundamental theoretical aspects regarding EU mobile citizens’ rights that are connected with their integration in the host societies. The MOOC comes with our promise that it will not bore you with dry, technical text. Instead, civil servants can freely access engaging, high-quality courses that are interactive and that contain personal stories, videos, quizzes, resources and much more. All lessons are available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Greek and Bulgarian.

Each of the five modules is the result of extensive research carried out within the framework of IMPEU and reflects the realistic shortcoming at hand. The training consists of:
Module 1: Obstacles of EU citizens claiming their citizenship rights
The cycle of creating change begins with understanding the challenge at hand. Following this approach, Module 1 kicks off with insight into freedom of movement obstacles, as reported by the EU citizens who experience them. Learn about their personal stories and what can be done to support them.

Module 2 – Best Practices on facilitating access to EU citizens’ rights
Sharing of best practices enables us to quickly implement methods already proven effective. Our MOOC Module 2 explores what works, and what does not, in the efforts to improve the political participation of EU mobile citizens.

The Module also references available EU services, making it easy for civil servants to be able to suggest the appropriate one to EU mobile citizens looking for help on their rights.
Module 3 – Q&A “Know Your Rights as European citizen”
Legislation can often be complex and therefore, hard to implement correctly. Module 3 breaks down the Citizens’ Rights Directive in detail, so that civil servants can help EU mobile citizens in the most effective way. Covered areas include:

1. Free movement and residence rights
2. Healthcare
3. Access to job market
4. Participation in the political life at local level
5. EU elections
6. Who supports the EU mobile citizens and what tools they have for claiming their rights?
7. What an EU mobile citizen can do if his/her rights have been breached?

Module 4 – Civic and political rights of EU citizens living abroad
A key reason for low political participation is often a lack of information. Module 4 aims to change that, with provided techniques on how to foster the political inclusion of EU mobile citizens in their host countries.
The Module also describes some additional forms of EU citizens’ engagement in the host countries.
Module 5 – Intercultural Communication
A strength of the EU is its cultural diversity. But different backgrounds can sometimes be a barrier to effective interaction between EU mobile citizens and civil servants. Module 5 of the IMPEU MOOC covers these challenges and offers ways to develop better cross-cultural communication skills.

We invite you to explore the IMPEU MOOC and help shape a more inclusive Europe where citizens can fully enjoy the benefits of their EU citizenship!
For a better understand of the challenges EU mobile citizens face, you can watch the short video below. It tells the story of Johnathan – an EU citizen who has worked in two different Member States and is having trouble claiming his pension rights as a result: