Commission plans new rules on benefits to boost citizenship

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Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has announced that jobseekers in the EU could receive new benefit rights, as part of a series of measures to boost freedom of movement.

Presenting the annual citizenship report on 8 May 2013, she said that jobseekers looking for work in another EU country should be entitled to unemployment benefit from their home country beyond the current limit of three months.

"Ever since it was first included in the Treaties in 1993, EU citizenship has been evolving - but it is not yet mature: people still face obstacles exercising their rights in everyday life," she said.

Other recommendations contained in the report include allowing EU citizens to keep their right to vote in national elections in their country of origin.

Currently some countries disallow people to vote in their home country once they move to another EU country.

Commissioner Reding said this was "tantamount to punishing citizens for having exercised their right to free movement".

This is the fourth time that the European Commission has presented an annual citizenship report to try and improve the rights offered to people living in the EU by the founding treaties.

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