The Public Defender of Rights
Citizens of the European Union

Citizens of the European Union

The Defender helps citizens of the European Union who live or work in another member state and promotes equal treatment regardless of their nationality.


Thanks to European Union every member state designated one or more bodies which provides help to EU citizens abroad and thus contributes to the full exercise of free movement of EU citizens. The list of the bodies is available at European Commission webpage . The Defender is the designated body in the Czech Republic.

The Defender may be contacted by people who faced unequal treatment on grounds of their nationality and who are EU citizens (i. e. citizens of a member state of the European Union) or members of their family (even if they are not EU citizens themselves). Citizens from countries of the European Economic Area (Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein) enjoy the same rights as EU citizens.

 Antidiscrimination Act (173.6 kB, Adobe Acrobat document) prohibits discrimination of workers (employees) from other EU member states and their family members primarily in access to employment and conditions of employment, especially as regards working conditions, remuneration, promotion, health and safety at work or membership in trade unions; further also in the access to social and tax advantages, training, housing and as regards assistance afforded by the employment offices. 

Main tasks of the Defender in this area are to:

  • Provide information to EU citizens about their rights, who to contact and how to proceed
  • Provide methodical assistance in cases of alleged discrimination on grounds of nationality and advises how to submit an application to initiate proceedings on the grounds of discrimination
  • Communicate with public authorities and private persons in cases regarding the exercise of the right of free movement and equal treatment on grounds of nationality
  • Carry out research, publish reports and recommendations in the area of the free movement of EU citizens and equal treatment on grounds of nationality
  • Communicate with bodies in other member states who have been designated to fulfil the same tasks


The aim of the Defender in this field is to facilitate the free movement of workers across European Union. EU citizens have the right to move freely to another member state in order to work there and they have the right to be treated equally as nationals of that state. Free movement of workers is guaranteed in founding treaties – in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and is further specified in subsequent legal acts. EU citizens and their family members enjoy the right of equal treatment as regards access to employment, conditions of employment and work, in particular with regard to remuneration, dismissal, and tax and social advantages. The Defender acts as a contact point for people who face problems in above specified areas. The Defender can also deal with cases submitted by persons who are not Union workers (person with income from other sources than employment, students, etc.), even if they don’t enjoy the right of equal treatment in all cases.

More information on how the Defender may assist you is available  here (572 kB, Adobe Acrobat document).

Collection of opinions of the Defender on the topic  Citizenship of the European Union (2.9 MB, Adobe Acrobat document)

Citizens of the European Union  

Bürger der Europäischen Union 

Citoyens de l'Union européenne 

Obywatele Unii Europejskiej 

Граждани на Европейския съюз 

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