British Expats Association Spain

            'RESIDENCE REGISTRATION' - British Expats Association Takes The Lead.
The time has now arrived where Spain must cease her many violations of the EU Directive, which came into force on 30 April 2006 when the residence card was suppressed for Union citizens and their dependant family members. From the very outset Spain refused to adopt this Directive into her national law, until ‘Infringement’ proceedings were opened against her. Instead of recognising the new rights of free movement accorded by the Directive, Spain has continued to implement the old residence card registration procedure, save for photographs and fingerprints.
We are, yet again, witnessing the endless queues outside inappropriate offices, wrongly appointed for the registration procedure.
From the date the Directive came into force the British Expats Association laid formal complaints before the EU justice Commission, when all those earlier complaints were upheld.
David R.Burrage, the Associations legal; advisor said, “The official EU Guide to the interpretation of the Directive is clear, the permitted registration procedure is so as to allow Member States to monitor the population movement of Union citizens (census). It does not permit the registration of Union citizens into a Central Register of Foreigners for police and Guardia Civil purposes. Further, the Directive clearly sets out that the 1st registration certificate must be issued free and that Union citizens are not ‘foreigners’ and must have the possibility of registering in their place of residence. The municipal padron’s fulfil this purpose, since that is the register adopted by Spain for monitoring the movement of its population.”
Mr.Burrage added, “Those Union citizens who have already been issued with a residence card have no obligation to do anything further, unless they so choose to apply for the certificate of ‘permanent’ residence. The choice is theirs and not an obligation. Further, the documentation and information required to effect this initial registration is clearly set out in Article 7 and does not include the pre-condition to first obtain a national identification number for foreigners. Article 8 of the Maastricht Treaty and Article 2 of the Directive abolished this use of the expression foreigners. Article 25 of the Directive excludes the formality of obtaining a registration certificate as a prerequisite when obtaining any other lawful rights in Spain, since the Directive allows proof of residence by some other means.”
“The registration certificate is not an identification document and for all practical purposes it is a worthless piece of paper. Therefore the penalty set by Spain for failing to register is neither proportional nor is it non-discriminatory, since Spain liken the certificate to an identification document, whereas all Union citizens will have their own national identification documents.”
In all, the Association identify some thirteen infractions, which are currently with the Commissions for Justice and Competition and they have already been responsible for given advice whereby the Census Office lifted their unlawful embargo, where they had attempted to prevent Union citizens from registering in their padron without the production of a residence card or registration certificate.
As matters currently stand, those citizens who have already registered their presence in Spain have no legal obligation to register in their municipal pardon, unless they wish to secure their voting rights.
Those Union citizens who have had enough of Spain’s blatant violations of their rights, then put in the words of the Justice Commission they may invoke the applicability of the Directive, since it must be remembered that EU law supersedes domestic laws of the Member States.
The Association are now requesting that the Commission bring Spain before the ECJ, since the ‘Infringement’ procedure remains open.  
The Association calls upon the Spanish government to end this oppressive, shameful and inhumane conduct, when violating the very principles of the right of free movement, which mocks the very fact that Spain recently signed up to the Lisbon Accord. 

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