Your rights in the EU
From 1 May 2004 all Maltese nationals have the same rights as those enjoyed by the citizens of the 15 EU Member States previous to that date.
Every EU citizen has the right:
- to move freely through the EU and to live and work in other Member States - to vote at local and European elections in the Member State in which they live
- to run for office at local elections in any Member State in which they live
- to run for office at European elections in any Member State in which they live
- to petition the European Parliament
- to make a complaint to the European Ombudsman
- to seek assistance from the embassies of any EU Member State if they are travelling in countries where their own Member State has no embassy.
At times, however, EU citizens may run into difficulties in exercising or asserting their rights. Problems may arise, for example, concerning voting rights, recognition of qualifications, cross-border transfer of welfare entitlements, customs and taxation issues, establishment of a company, or setting oneself up as self-employed. In such instances, if you think that your rights are infringed, there are a number of places where you can seek assistance.
- The European Parliament has a Petitions Committee that examines complaints by EU citizens about breaches or infringements of EU law. Some of the most common issues of complaint are the environment, social affairs, free movement, recognition of qualifications and discrimination. Petitions can be sent in the form of a letter, setting out your complaint. Copies of any supporting or background documents should also be enclosed.
- Parliament elects an EU Ombudsman who examines complaints by EU citizens against EU institutions and bodies. Examples of the sort of complaints which the European Ombudsman deals with include delayed payments, refusal of information, unfairness and discrimination on the part of EU institutions. For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/youreurope/index_mt.html