Your Rights as an EU Citizen

Anyone who lives within a country that is part of the European Union, is also a European citizen. Here's a quick guide to your rights!

Travelling, living and working in Europe

Thanks to the European Union (EU), you have a right to travel, work and live anywhere in Europe.

Recognised qualifications

Higher education qualifications are recognised in other EU countries. It mostly relates to university courses lasting three years or more, but you should check to see if it also applies to your qualifications.

Job opportunities

As an EU citizen you can work anywhere in the EU. The only types of things you couldn't do is work for the police or armed forces. 

Health services

You can get a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which will help cover your medical costs if you are ill while you are abroad in Europe. 

Political rights

You can vote and stand as a candidate in local and European parliamentary elections.

Fundamental rights

Discrimination by nationality, gender, race, religion, age and sexual orientation is unacceptable under EU law, and it's possible to take action against an EU country that violates its citizen's fundamental rights.

Education and culture

The EU runs educational and training programmes including exchanges for students to study abroad. These include the Comenius, Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci programmes.

A shared identity

Our shared identity within the EU includes:

  • European passport
  • European anthem (Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy')
  • European flag (a circle of 12 gold stars on a blue background)
  • European motto ('united in diversity')
  • Europe Day (9th May)

Find out more about what the European Union does.