Donald Tusk letter to Michael Tomlinson MP Brexit to blame for EU citizens’ insecurity

Just back from Rome and a meeting with HM Ambassador to Rome, Ms Jill Morris to find The Guardian reporting that: Donald Tusk blames British voters for expats’ EU uncertainty.  

This requires a response.

Mr Tusk wrote to Justin Tomlinson MP  and a group of UK parliamentarians  – letter here tusk-letter-to-uk-parliamentarians-29-nov-2016

I have written to Mr Tusk –  text of my letter is below and PDF here : tusk-30-november-2

Mr Donald Tusk

President of the European Council

Cc: Mr Justin Tomlinson MP

UK Parliamentarians

Re: Your letter to the UK parliamentarians on the status of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens living and working in Europe

Dear Mr Tusk,

On 2 December 1998 The Wall Street Journal’s lead story commented on the case of foreign lecturers “lettori” working in Italian Universities  “…a clear cut test of Europe’s commitment to labor mobility, which – along with a common currency – is key to the success of the EU’s vaunted single market.”

On 5 February 1999, The Irish Times wrote: “The persistent refusal of the Italian university authorities to pay foreign lecturers on the same scale as Italian lecturers, to recognise continuity of employment and their refusal to hold fair competitions for full academic posts have been found to be in breach of European law and are, without doubt, the clearest mass systematic breaches of the treaty.

After 30 years litigation in Italian Courts and six favourable judgments in the EJEU the illegal discrimination persists.

In an attempt to have our Treaty rights, as interpreted by the CJEU, implemented in Italy we are obstructed by the so-called Gelmini law that “extinguishes” our court cases, wiping away the fundamental right of citizens to have the merits of their cases heard and adjudicated in a court of law[i].

Our warm thanks are due to UK parliamentarians and UK governments, both pre and post Brexit; The UK has been singularly assiduous in seeking fair and equal treatment for all EU lettori working in Italian Universities.

Our thanks are also due to the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions which has been supporting us since 1993.

On 26 January 2011 we lodged a complaint with the European Commission, concerning Gelmini. The Commission services are investigating.

30 December 2016 marks the 6th anniversary the Italian government’s passing of Gelmini

This coincides with you leaving office as President of the Council, we ask if you could kindly make a gesture by ensuring that Gelmini is put on the agenda of the Council before your departure.We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

David Petrie


[i] Expert opinion on Art 26 of Gelmini: Peter Ferguson QC. “An astonishing statutory provision. If other Member States follow Italy’s example, the European project and more importantly, the rule of law are endangered”

Professor Brad K Blitz “ …in conflict with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights … undermines the primacy of EU law”.

Professor Noreen Burrows OBE “…has the potential to undermine the authority of the European Court of Justice by appearing to allow Member States to reinterpret the decisions of the Court to suit their purpose of perpetuating discrimination”.

David Petrie with HM AMBASSADOR to ROME, 28 November 2016

David Petrie with HM AMBASSADOR to ROME, 28 November 2016

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