Book Review: Friedl Weiss & Frank Wooldridge, Movement of Persons Within the European Community

9 Colum. J. Eur. L. 203 (2002)

reviewed by Thomas Perrot.

The free movement of factors of production constitutes the cornerstone of a common market, as it is thought to permit their most efficient allocation within this market. This assumption has been pervasive in European integration ever since 1957 and is enshrined in Article 3 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC), which states that the activities of the Community shall include “an internal market characterised by the abolition, as between Member States, of obstacles to the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital.” Weiss and Wooldridge’s Free Movement of Persons Within the European Community, the thirtieth of a series of monographs on European law, purports to describe the second and third of these freedoms, the free movement of persons and of services. Under these general terms, the book focuses on the freedom of movement for workers, the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide and receive services for both natural and legal persons.

This topic has been addressed by an abundance of academic literature. The intended contribution of the book lies in a concise and up-to-date overview of these economic freedoms rather than in an innovative reflection on this matter.


In the first two chapters, Weiss and Wooldridge provide an outline of the general principles governing the free movement of persons in the general context of the TEC’s other provisions. While they lay groundwork for further discussion on the principles of non-discrimination and on the admissible reasons for discriminatory measures, they also give a detailed study of various TEC articles that affect the exercise of the freedom of movement. The analysis takes the form of a review of each provision, supported and illustrated by a vast number of cases, which supplies the reader with a clear overview of the goal assigned to each freedom and a first impression of their prominent status in the structure of the TEC.

At this early stage, the authors turn to the legal rules governing asylum and immigration and trace developments, with special emphasis on visas, through the Schengen Agreements, the Maastricht Treaty, and the Amsterdam Treaty. While they extensively describe the main features of the Schengen Agreements, which aim to create an “area of freedom, security and justice” without controls at internal borders for persons, they only sketch an outline of the legal issues related to immigration which are subject to further analysis in a later chapter devoted to the rights of third country nationals.